Venexiana Fall 2013: Weakness in numbers

It bodes ill for any collection to inspire a list of the following kind. Yet at the end of the Venexiana Fall/Winter 2013 show, there it was:

No. of looks shown: 76

No. of masterpieces: 2

No. of looks that fit well: 14

Perceptible fabric quality (velvet, silk, synthetics), low 1 to high 10: 4

Designer Kati Stern’s passion and creativity are on full display in this collection of evening gowns that nod to 1940’s opulence. There’s a playful exuberance to the rich and varied palette (persimmon, mocha, rose, sage), and to the detailing, such as a crystal embellishment that winds about the shoulders and waists like a bejeweled serpent. But this is a cautionary lesson in more being less: too many looks, with too many elements, piled onto fabrics of apparently inferior quality, fitted poorly on models, makes a mess of what might have been a spectacular collection.

Also detracting from the presentation were the models themselves, many of whom were so alarmingly emaciated (yes, even for models; yes, even for New York Fashion Week) that they could not do these backless gowns justice. This was particularly unfortunate given the intricate, armor-like construction of most of the bodices, which made the dresses appear to be hovering in space half a step ahead of the models who were supposed to be wearing them. It’s no hyperbole to say that many a look would have come off better on an actual hanger than on a sad young woman starving herself to look like one.

One hopes the industry will take notice, and encourage these girls to increase their numbers on the scale and measuring tape. Venexiana, meanwhile, should consider adjusting in the opposite direction.

Photos: Venexiana Fall 2013 – New York Fashion Week
all photos by Bibs Teh / Meniscus Magazine