Fashion Week Questionnaire: Vena Cava


For New York Fashion Week, Interview asked our favorite designers to respond to a questionnaire. Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock are Vena Cava; you’ve seen this season’s crystal invitations, and their latest runway show just completed. Before the photos of the show hit anywhere, we have shots from the designers’ studio, and the shots they take before bed.


1. What’s your inspiration this season?
LISA MAYOCK: The mood of the Fall 09 collection is something we like to call “Neo-New Age”—but with a sexier, edgier feel. The Hall of Gems and Minerals at the Museum of Natural History was our starting point, and we extrapolated from there. Think Kate Bush, holograms, the Cocteau Twins, synthesizers, Giorgio Moroder, and laser harps.

2. Who is one person you know will be front-row?

SOPHIE BUHAI: We are doing a presentation this season so there will be no seats, but my landlord Gaston will definitely be in the front row. He makes video art and tapes all of our shows. He gets very creative and films the unexpected.

3. How has NY changed since last Fashion Week?

SB: People are becoming more creative with the way they dress because they shop less—I think the recession is going to improve fashion. My friend Gina coined a term for it “frugelista”—it’s all about organizing clothes trades, cutting, and hand sewing your clothes to reinvent them. I’m hoping the D.I.Y. fad from the 90s recession will make it’s way back. That way we can all draw on our old designer clothes with sharpies.

4. What’s your uniform during Fashion Week?

SB: Usually whatever Lisa is wearing… We always show up in the same outfits everyday before the show without planning it. It’s some sort of creepy style ESP that is only channeled under intensive fashion week circumstances.

5. What do you have for breakfast during Fashion Week? What do you have as a cocktail?
SB: Naturally, I like a decent bagel with some schmear. In the evening I like to drink a small glass of Pappy Van Winkle before bed time.

6. What’s your worst habit during Fashion Week?

LM: Sleeping through all the parties that happen after our show.

7. The thing you’re most worried about in preparation for your show?
LM: Arranging shards from 30,000 recycled CDs in the shape of a triangular prism. They weigh almost one ton and we have two hours to set it up. Fingers crossed….