I recently had the opportunity to attend a Venexiana runway show that was part of the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week for Fall 2011. The show taught me about my personal tastes for feminine style.
Venexiana founder/designer Kati Stern infuses her look with rock music. After a little tease of classical music, the show kicked into high gear withthe Smashing Pumpkins' song Geek USA (a track off one of my favorite albums, Siamese Dream). I was already loving this show... The Clash and Misfits songs reinforced my love.
Venexiana was edgy, but elegant. My favorite look was a purple gown with a print that looked like a grape vine, gold trim and an over the shoulder strap. Stern's designs seemed to flow gloriously with the model's strides (pretty hair has a tendency to do this in wind, mesmerizing us guys).
One such dress was a green satin-ish gown with a "train" which my date described as fabric that is attached to a dress to extend it (I guess like a wedding dress). This dress was a great example of Stern's mastery over silhouettes. She has a knack for accentuating the natural curves of a woman's body. The cuts were classic, retro (I called them Jessica Rabbit cuts), making the models seem like they were walking on air.
My favorite example of accentuating with edge was piece of fur that was used ornamentally. The model came out in a dress and the fur was wrapped around her waist. It could easily work with jeans too.
The "finale" of the show were a couple of gowns that looked like they were straight from a fairy tale — amazing. I loved the use of headwear with these gowns too.
How did Kati Stern manage to marry two seemingly opposite looks? She gave each little slice of the opposite: the elegant looks had edge, and the edgy looks had elegance.
Here are a few strategies to get the look:
- Don't be afraid to mix elements
- Celebrate your silhouette with flattering cuts
- Flowing gowns provide elegance while daring/bold accents provide edge
- Retro is almost always hot
I'm tuned in to a woman's style and I love the opposite ends of the spectrum: I need a little elegance and a little edge. I've said before that the perfect girl is a tom-princess — a princess girly-girl with a tom-boy streak who can mix it up with the boys. Kati Stern's style is definitely tom-princess.
I'd be attracted to any woman who wore these looks, though I might be a bit intimidated because they are so bold and confident (every look made a statement...and because this woman would probably have more money than me, though that's not a hard thing to do.
Finally, I learned that wearing fashion pieces with "regular" items works: one woman came out in a fur vest-looking piece that would have looked hot with jeans.
My date, a very fashion-conscious gal, was just as mesmerized by Venexiana as I was. I finally (almost) understood the obsession with seeing these shows — this was art.
What do you think of the looks, and what is your take on elegance and edge? Do you agree with me? How do you mix your looks, and how would you classify your style?