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Fall 2008 Mercedes Benz
Fashion Week
The Tents at Bryant Park
February 1, 2008

Written by Julia Sirmons
Photographed by
Eli Ceballos




Venexiana, the ready-to-wear label by Hungarian architect-turned-designer Kati Stern, put in its Fall 2008 show in the Bryant Park Tents on February 1st. The collection offered up a series of intriguing and inventive twists on classic vintage looks.

The inspiration for the Venexiana was refreshing take on the tradition of glamorous ‘40s power dressing. The show started off with three knee-length silver numbers coming down the runway. These pieces showed a distinct point of view, and their details, like beaded epaulets and a gold lame turtleneck, made a real impact that prevented these initial looks from appearing too homogeneous.

A welcome change of pace came in the fourth look, where a beautifully cut pair of wide-legged satin trousers caught attention, and was paired with a loose cloudy blouse. The first real stunner of the collection was the fifth look, a reinterpreted fur coat, reminiscent of those worn by Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in their heydays, which impressed with its elegantly voluminous proportions and modern silhouette.

Much of what followed took a few strong aesthetic ideas – fur-trimmed russet-toned outerwear; close-fit lame garments with different accents; muted, blousily draped chiffon numbers; slinky metallic knit basics; and fluid gold satin gowns – and worked them into a cohesive collection. A few looks, like a brocade fur-trimmed tuxedo jacket coupled with a gold lame mini-dress, a grey chevron-print tea frock, a gorgeously draped raspberry colored fishtail gown with dramatically fluffy sleeves, were particular standouts.

By the time the show concluded, one felt that amidst all the yards of fur, gold lame, and tea-stained chiffon, some interesting modernizations of classic, elegant style had taken place. If Marlene Dietrich was alive and well and living in Manhattan, she might very well stop by Venexiana for some new threads.

Katie Stern


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