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Jen Mankins of Bird Likes United Bamboo, Vena Cava, and Alexander Wang

Throughout the week, the buyers from Bird, Henri Bendel, Oak, and more will tell us which runway looks they plan on stocking. In today’s installment, Bird owner Jen Mankins loves United Bamboo’s palette, the Egyptian influence in Vena Cava, and Alexander Wang’s sporty street styles.

United Bamboo
Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham explored a softer side of their meticulously constructed, architecturally inspired collection for spring 2009. With only the women’s collection on the runway, the show was well edited and tightly focused. The color palette was gorgeous with soft pinks and nudes mixed with blues, greens, and gray. I particularly loved the wool-linen skirt suit in an edible shade of pumpkin paired with a coral silk blouse, as well as a navy-blue shorts suit that gave a whole new meaning to power dressing. The origami-pleated cotton-faille tops were airy and light, as were the gathered and twisted linen and silk dresses. Two sure-to-be bestsellers are the zebra-print linen shantung dress and the blue-and-white-striped cotton-linen front-gathered T-dress.

Watch a slideshow of United Bamboo’s spring 2009 collection.

Vena Cava
The Egyptian-inspired collection from design duo Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock was simply stunning. They have taken their expert draping and love of whimsical details to a beautiful new level of sophistication. I loved the offbeat pairing of long and lean silhouettes in silk twill with cropped and shrunken leather vests and jackets and the quirky combinations of colors like marigold, pistachio, and rust. Every cool girl will be in line to get her hands on one of the black Egyptian-beaded collars. The sleeveless tropical wool power suit and the printed silk shirtdress worn over buttery-soft brown leather leggings were amazing. The skeletal silver jewelry from Jill Platner was a perfect match to the pyramid embellishments and embroidered hieroglyphs. And I want every pair of their new shoe collection for Via Spiga! Especially the studded high-heel suede mules.

Look at a slideshow of Vena Cava’s spring 2008 collection.

Alexander Wang

The throngs of pushing, adoring fans made this show feel more like a rock concert than a fashion presentation. And Alex knows how to please the crowds with sexy, tough, sporty street styles for urban grunge girls. Miami-inspired tropical pastels popped against black leather and heather-gray jersey. And just to make sure the looks didn’t get too casual or candy-coated, each was paired with his rock-and-roll fringed and pierced, sky-high platform heels. He always makes amazing knits, and this season they took shape in the form of distressed drop-needle cardigans and chunky intarsia crew-neck cover-ups. I will definitely be ordering the oversize silk jumpsuit in a black-and-white composition-notebook print and lots of the fringed sweatshirts, in napa leather and gym gray cotton.

View a slideshow of Alexander Wang’s spring 2009 collection.
Watch a video of Alexander Wang’s spring 2009 runway show.

Jen Mankins of Bird Likes United Bamboo, Vena Cava, and Alexander Wang