Seeing Kati Stern’s Venexiana Fall 2011 presentation was perhaps not the best way to start Fashion Week. Why? Well, it set the bar REALLY high. The clothes were nothing short of breathtaking. The audience in attendance oohed and aahed over her designs. The show culminated with Katie Stern getting a much-deserved standing ovation. Jay Alexander was in attendance, in the front row.
Even the order of the show was organized perfectly. The collection started with some classic separates. Cute dresses with full gathered skirts that fell above the knee were paired with silvery gray stockings for a conservative take on the cocktail dress. A stunning belted tweed coat would be the statement cover-up for any fashionista. Gradually, the hem of the skirts lengthened, while the fabrics became more decadent and luscious. Fur, used liberally throughout the collection, was the shawl collar for one boxy jacket. It was used in purple as the trim against a goldish yellow fabric, resulting in a beautifully deep-toned coat. After a few plaid cocktail dresses, the real fun began. With gold, scrunched floor length dresses and generous trains, the door was opened for luscious red-carpet worthy gowns. Stern used a flowing gray and gold fabric in a one-shouldered gown that spoke of Winter but reminded one of the vibrancy of coming Spring. Then came the gold gown. Now, one can do gold badly or really well depending on the fabric. Stern chose the most decadent, liquid gold that she possibly could find, resulting in a gown that did so much more than shimmer and shine its way down the runway. She did the same with silver. First, it peeked out from the depths of a slit on one gown. Then, it commanded the show in a gown that made the audience gasp. Then, there was the plum velvet halter dress with a cowl neck. I hated velvet. Now I love it. Enough said. The last two dresses were incredible. With bejeweled head pieces, the models floated in white full gowns juxtaposed by bare backs.
Kati Stern really produced an incredible collection of clothing. Every time I thought that the clothes were amazing and I’d be happy with the rest being at that standard, the next piece would come out and just take it to the other level. It just kept getting better. The show left me excited for more fashion and hungry for that level of talent. The choice of fabrics was impeccable, as were the sometimes simple silhouettes that showcased them. Kati Stern’s Venexiana is a line to look out for, come awards season.