Kati Stern’s Venexiana opened with a dramatic start at The Studio at Lincoln Center on Saturday evening. To the music of Edith Piaf, the silhouette of model in a sleek mermaid down struck burlesque-esque poses on a blue lit stage; when the lights popped up, the music changed to a rocking punk and the model took the catwalk in amagenta velvet evening gown with a crystal strap.
The gowns in Venexiana’s Fall line had a Gatsby Art Deco feel of luxury and refinement with a punk edge. Deep jewel-toned velvets, striking metallics and taffetas, and satins in shades of the season’s mermaid darling, iridescent.
Many of the gowns had plunging backs, crystal details unique to each design from belts to snake like shoulder straps. The models wore intricate updos by Jeffrey Reitz for Tela Design Studio by Philip Pelusi and classic dark eyes and nude lips by Mehron. The dresses required attention coming and going as the back was often the money shot with cascading bustles or trailing trains and always intricate in detail.
Adding to the richness of the line, Stern topped the gowns with colorful, drool-worthy furs. Among them, teal tinted silver fox, fuchsia chinchilla and blue iris mink and natural Russian sable coat.
Adding diversity to the line were short cocktail dresses, wool and tweed skirts and black pants suitable for less formal affairs.
The show rocked through the 76 looks with music by DJ Ben Brunnemer ending with a review of the last 23 designs; each one making you want to start planning for your fall gala circuit.