It was clear Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock were in a 90s mindset before the models even set foot on the runway. While we waited for the show to start (it ran about 40 minutes late) staffers passed out 'Zina Cava, Vena Cava's 'zine. They got their fashionable friends to contribute--Andy Spade, Kate Young, Ariel Shulman and Shipley & Halmos, to name a few--and whipped a nostalgia packed treat that kept me more than occupied during the 40 minute delay. I cringed when I saw a photo of a Contempo Casuals tag and chuckled at the page where Buhai and Mayock slapped their faces on ever model in that iconic CK One ad.
The first page of Vena Cava's 'zine read, "all content inspired by the 90s"--and so was their fall 2011 collection. Like, very literally inspired. Not grunge Seattle '90s like we saw at Nicholas K or even at Charlotte Ronson last season but the glammed-out power suit, "working girls," supermodel (we're talking Cindy, Linda, Christy, Naomi here) '90s. There were boned corset tops, structured bodices with cutouts, and maxi skirts in a crinkled chiffon that reminded me of the crinkled floral print broomstick skirts I used to wear from the Limited Too. And to really hit you over the head with the '90s theme, models were wearing bronze structured necklaces by Dannijo that looked like chokers and berets by Yestadt Millinery.
Stand out classic Vena Cava pieces included the printed button-down-the-front maxi skirt, salmon crepe tie front palazzo pants, and I loved beautiful low square and off-the-shoulder neck lines. But a lot of the collection was too '90s to my taste--the '90s still feel like yesterday to me and a lot of these looks (baby doll-ish dresses, shrugs, oversized leather jackets, cropped and cut-out bodices with a blazer--are ones I'm not ready to revive so literally. Or maybe it's just that using the '90s as a reference point makes me feel old.
**All photos: IMAXTREE