I’ve always been impressed by Vena Cava‘s ability to turn potentially unforgiving materials a la satin, silk and chiffon into figure flattering gems. I assume the process of doing so isn’t exactly cost-effective – what with the $300 – $700 price range and all – but my inability to afford the goods hasn’t tainted my respect for the thoughtful design inherent in each piece.
Alas, Recession + Pricey Merch = Unsold Goods. Vena Cava’s attempt to survive by collaborating with mid-range brands is a smart business move.
If only designs intended for luxurious material translated to cheaply made synthetic blends. Before we review Vena Cava for Aqua, a brief discussion of Aqua itself is in order. The quality of the in-house line’s more Forever 21 than DVF, but it gets away with an average price point of $88 anyway. Put a $78 cardigan in a sea of $195 blouses, and shoppers will be too gleeful over its borderline-reasonable price to realize the truth: The cardy in question is crafted out of piss poor polyester, and will inevitably pill in one wash.
Aqua is the Bloomingdale’s equivalent of Macy’s Juniors Department: Cheaply-made trendy clothes with a lifespan mirroring their In expiration date. The highbrow environment in which it’s sold tends to exempt its price points from extensive scrutiny, but don’t be fooled. Keep your guard up if it ever crosses your path.
So. How did Vena Cava handle the challenge of turning barftastic material blends into designer-sanctioned gold?
B plus for effort; D minus for execution.
These two tops might look similar, but observe them in terms of fit and flattery. The high-end version at left is a drape-y cut that still manages to give the torso some semblance of shape. The Aqua version at right is more of a painter’s smock than a blouse. HeLLO! Can I get a WAIST?!
Nextly, we have the much-coveted military jacket – a coat cut to accommodate A cups only, generally speaking. Again, both jackets look similar, and again, the waist is where things go awry. What, praytell, is the goal of the olive number – to turn the wearer into a fashion savvy version of Spongebob? An epic fail on the execution end. ICK.
Lastly, we have coats. Actually, we have one coat, and one schmata. Then again, Frumptastic could be like-so-haute for Fall 2010 – stranger things have happened on the runway.
Vena Cava: The next time you’re approached about a collabs, feel the quality of the material you’ll be handling before you fully commit. You have a reputation to uphold.
Fans of Vena Cava: I don’t want to hear any crap about how this collabs helps you snag the look for less or whatever. If the quality is shit, it’s going to look like shit. You want Vena Cava? Get your ass to any resale store or consignment shop that deals in on-trend merch, and hunt for the real deal. The last time I hit Beacon’s Closet, I saw not one, not two, but FIVE Vena Cava dresses gracing the racks, all new, all with original tags.
I abstained from indulging, and left them for you local gals instead. Because I’m generous like that.