Casting fashion and film as creative bedfellows is hardly new, but few designers choose to make their foray into the field with a horror flick. Then again, few designers would name their label after the vein that delivers blood to the heart, as Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai did in 2003.
The two California natives, who met at 17 and attended Parsons School of Design together, sewed their first Vena Cava collection on the living-room floor of their Brooklyn apartment. Flash-forward a few years, and they’ve now been nominated for a CFDA Fashion Fund Award (twice) and won the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award.
Part of Vena Cava’s allure is that Sophie and Lisa create entire worlds with their collections. They are never simply clothes in a void; every season they have a new story to tell. This tendency may have something to do with their shared love of vintage clothing, where every piece has a unique history.
This fall, Vena Cava’s designs were inspired by dark, neo-noir movies of the 1970s. To materialize this atmosphere into art, they joined forces with Josh and Benny Safdie of Red Bucket Films and created Heartland, an eerie short film set in L.A. Both Sophie and Lisa appear in the film, along with their fall collection. But categorizing Heartland as a fashion flick would be a mistake—it is a legitimately chilling tale; they did not hold anything back. Even their yellow floral dress (as seen on Lisa in the film still above) takes on a sinister quality.
Take a first look at the Heartland trailer below—it’s premiering exclusively here—then embrace fall’s dark and dreamy vibe in the Vena Cava collection, also exclusive to Barneys New York.
1. Cross front top 2. Cropped tweed bomber 3. Floral print dress 4. Floral print wide leg pant 5. Square print dress 6. Leather bomber 7. Keyhole front dress 8. Striped pajama pant 9. Square print halter tie top 10. Floral print tulip skirt