Vena Cava designers Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock launched their collaboration with Aqua, Bloomingdale’s ready-to-wear contemporary line, bright and early this morning over croissants and quiches at the Soho department store. “It’s sort of a greatest hits of Vena Cava,” said Buhai, “but a little more playful and accessible.” That “accessibility” is reflected in the line’s prices, which range from $98 for a lace-trimmed T-shirt to $198 for a cozy-looking ponte jacket; the “greatest hits,” meanwhile, are visible in the mesh, velvet, lace, and hardware detailing for which Vena Cava is known. Other themes included a nipped-waist silhouette, because “it just looks better on a larger group of people,” explained Buhai. In fact, they’re pretty much over the whole low-waist look: “A lot of things have been low-waisted and slouchy, and I think the higher waist looks a little fresher,” said Mayock.
The pair also weighed in on the wearability of mesh. “People have a connotation of mesh being, like, for a dude drinking beers in a parking lot somewhere or something,” said Buhai. “And that’s sometimes how we use it, but I think it’s also cool to use it in a sophisticated way.” She pointed to a blush-colored, one-shoulder dress made of layered fine mesh fabric. “Like, this dress is mesh but in a very sophisticated, draped way, and that makes it feel kind of new.”
Vena Cava has also launched their own lower-priced collection, Viva Vena, but the designers were very clear that the two lines, while similar in price, are not to be confused. “Viva Vena is very different [from Vena Cava for Aqua],” said Mayock. “I think [Vena Cava for Aqua] is more similar to Vena Cava than it is to Viva Vena. The Viva Vena line is really T-shirts and casual clothes — like, you could wear it to go camping upstate or wear it to the beach. It’s got a different vibe.”
Click ahead to see our favorite pieces from the Vena Cava for Aqua collection.