I have a girl-crush on the ladies of Vena Cava (designers Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai). In the past year, Vena Cava (“vein to the heart”) has become, for me, like a super-fabulous indie-rock band that I recommend to the delight and amazement of others. I’ve been burning Vena Cava CDs all year, so to speak, so when I heard that the Mick Margo boutique was hosting the indomitable duo for wine and a peek at their fall line, I jumped. I even put on my favorite Vena Cava frock, feeling only slightly like a dopey groupie wearing a tour shirt from last year.
Their fall collection is every bit as ladylike and sophisticated as previous seasons, with a Catherine Deneuve-meets-Faye Dunaway vibe, invoking the best of Mayle and Givenchy with soft, smoky hues and foggy purple floral silks, all cut in delicate, feminine shapes with an eye toward intricate construction.
Sophie and Lisa were in the dressing room, chatting up other girls who, like me, were trying on clothes, pulling things to and fro to see what fit. They were being helpful and kind, but I couldn’t help but chuckle, feeling the whole thing was like stumbling into Bloc Party backstage and watching their fans attempt the opening bars of ‘Banquet’. I found an opening in the conversation and, like an idiot, made some kind of Zoolander reference… and then immediately cringed.
Amazingly, Lisa and Sophie seemed to melt. Who doesn’t love a little low-brow humor in a high-brow setting? While everyone else threw on piece after piece, we ended up laughing about Will Ferrell’s new movie, how I used to track down oddball fabric swatches for Zac Posen, and how they were secretly afraid they wouldn’t be invited to the fashion week parties. (PR people? Are you reading this?)
The fantastic epilogue to this story is that on Friday, when my gal pals and I stormed opening night of Talladega Nights at the Loews Village 7, I heard my name called by none other than Lisa Mayock, smiling away, waiting in line. She was even wearing the dress I’d worn to Mick Margo. “When you were talking about doing this, I thought, ‘that sounds like a good idea,’” she grinned.
So, like, for the record, the ladies of Vena Cava know me, and Lisa Mayock thought my idea was cool. Next stop, Wonderland.