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story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Adrianna Favero
web editor Rachel Reneé
The most packed house I’ve ever seen in the Studio space in the tents at Lincoln Center created a charged atmosphere that awaited the Fall 2012 collection of designer Kati Stern’s label Venexiana. Stern stands out quite a bit from every other designer at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. She does things her own way and is utterly indifferent to any and every convention in fashion. Mrs. Stern is a lover of the excessive and the over the top, and her clothes mirror this attitude in every respect.
For her 70 piece Fall 2012 collection, she continued to show that every design element she pulls into her creations carries the message of defiant glamor, so loud that if it were a form of music it would make your ears bleed. Some of her power chords of choice this season were ascending fantail pleats on both bodices and waists, prints that incorporated metal weaves, and shredded edges that were featured on many of her new creations. It was a swaggering, bawdy, and wild collection full of slinky gowns, shinning fabrics, and jewel-encrusted details.
Her work with metallic fabrics this season was particularly interesting because she went beyond the simple inclusion of a a palette of metals and included the colors of metallic decay, such as rust and verdigris. This experimentation is a typical and often overlooked part of Stern’s design work, and a hallmark of Venexiana. Again and again, it all comes back to the freedom Kati Stern approaches her work with; she is, after all, celebrating her eighteenth season on American fashion’s main stage with this collection, and as a veteran designer she knows what she’s doing, and most importantly who she’s doing it for. Whatever the New York fashionistas may think of Kati Stern, it cannot be denied that she has a client, who like the designer doesn’t care what you think either.