Vena Cava: Fall/Winter 2011 Backstage

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It’s only fitting that I begin each fashion week backstage at one of my favorite shows, Vena Cava! When I arrived backstage at Milk Studios for the Fall 2011 show, I was immediately drawn to Butter London Creative Director Nonie Creme creating her typically amazing nail art for the runway.

This season was no different, instead of applying polish to the models’ nails, multicolored bands were painted onto their fingers!



Watching Nonie in action is always an educational experience:
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The colorways for the nail bands came straight from Vena Cava’s fall collection. Nonie said this “expanded nail art” concept was created to mimic jewelry.

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Shades used include Tramp Stamp, Union Jack, Royal Navy, Scoundrel, and Flouro Orange.
To get the look: Choose a “Three Free” nail polish from Butter London (safe for use on skin). Using the polish brush, freehand bands of color around the entire width of the finger. Repeat in contrasting colors. The nail bands last approximately 24 hours.



MAC’s Christian McCulloch created a playful, glitter-laden look, intended to function as an accessory to the clothing itself.

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To get the look:
Start with MAC Select Moisturecover to create a natural base. Lightly highlight cheekbones using Strobe Creme.

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For eyes, apply a mixture of MAC Pro Glitter in “Reflects Purple Duo”, “Silver”, and “3D Silver” over MAC Pro Shine Mixing Medium. Set brows with MAC Clear Brow Set. On lips, use MAC Lip Pencil in “Subculture” to line edges. Finish with MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in “Petting Pink”.

Celebrity stylist Ted Gibson created a laid back 90’s grunge inspired hair style to compliment the retro feel of the fall collection.

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To get the look: Part hair in center, and apply a mixture of Ted Gibson Tame-It Shine Lotion, and Fix-It Gel to add texture. Slick hair down at the crown of the head, then twist the lower portion into coils. Pin the coils, and allow them to set. After removing coils, use a blow dryer on low heat to help separate the waves in the hair.

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The finished look:
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Vena Cava designers Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai.

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On the runway.

See the full photo set here.

All Photos and Content ®2011 Rachel Scroggins/The Greyest Ghost.

Vena Cava S/S 2011: Backstage

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My very first show of Spring 2011 NYFW (and the first show I’ve ever fully covered backstage!) was Vena Cava. Held at Milk Studios, on the morning of September 9th, the atmosphere backstage pre-show was buzzing with activity. Some shows teeter on the brink of chaos, and others seem to move at a languorously slow turtle’s pace. Thankfully, when I arrived backstage, preparations at Vena Cava were running smoothly and right on time.

Hair was styled by celebrity hair stylistTed Gibson and his salon team. I caught up with Ted as he was explaining this season’s hair inspiration, and the styling process to a group of fellow bloggers:

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For Vena Cava S/S ’11, Ted was inspired by 1970’s Halston woman he’s seen in an old issue of VOGUE. The idea was to take a classic bun style, and update it for more modern times by adding texture.

The result was a sleek, but also slightly messy ballerina-esque style, topped off with a half turban of raw silk.
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To get the look, Ted and his team started with his Build It Blowdrying Spray to add texture and volume. The hair was then blown dry, and flat ironed straight. Tame It Shine Lotion was used to fight frizz, and smooth hair down on the top of the head. Hair was then finger-combed back into a low ponytail.
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Next, the ponytail was teased to create even more volume:
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Multiple elastics were used every 1-2 inches down the length of the ponytail, to help achieve a more textured appearance:
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Hair was then twisted and pressed forward into a slightly messy bun:
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The look was finalized by the addition of the raw silk turban. Starting at the back, the scarf was wrapped around the head twice, with the ends secured underneath the bun with bobby pins.
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The bun was then finished with Ted Gibson Beautiful Hold Hairspray.

The final look:
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With nails by Butter London.

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Along with Ted’s amazing hair skills, I also caught Mac’s makeup team in action:
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Christian McCullogh for MAC was inspired by Michelle Pfeiffer’s look in the movie “Scarface”. A blue eyeliner was drawn on the lid, with Midnight Blue shadow applied all over, with a dusting of Graphology over the top. Contrast shadow was used in the corners, and the lashes were coated with Haute & Naughty mascara. A matte orangy peach lip stick finished the look.

See Ted styling hair, and the makeup process here:

Intro by Tanya Davis of

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The look for spring was all dark eyes, bright cheeks, and bright lips, inspired by Michelle Pfeiffer in “Scarface”:
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Finished hair and makeup:
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Once the hair and makeup process was nearly completed, it was time for the models to get dressed:
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The result:
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The chunky wooden shoes and accessories were amazing:
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The designers checking the progress:
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Getting in order for the show:
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Final touch ups:
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Ted makes adjustments:
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A member of Ted’s team secures a turban:
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Final model checks:
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Waiting to begin:
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The end of the line, waiting for their turn:
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Every detail in Vena Cava’s S/S ’11 show was perfectly complimentary. The gorgeous silk dresses and the turbans, the reds of the lipstick, the sleek hair, and the chunky wooden jewelry that added texture. I thought the collection showed a maturity for the brand, while still holding on to their past signatures like geometric patterns, flashes of color, and impeccable silks.

Thanks to Ted and his amazing team for letting me be a part of the backstage experience. If any of you ever get a chance to work with the Vena Cava team, or Ted Gibson, take it. Everyone I worked with backstage was at the top of their game. And being around Ted, and his fun, easy going personality makes it impossible not to smile.

Ted Gibson Backstage at Vena Cava
Ted Gibson, hair genius.

See the full photo set here.

All Photos and Content ®2010 Rachel Scroggins/The Greyest Ghost