The very first Venexiana runway I covered, many seasons ago was dark, like goth dark.  That was my first impression of designer Kati Stern’s looks, beautiful, but dark.  Well, take a look at them now.


VenexianaVenexianaVenexianaHer spring/summer runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was just about the opposite of dark.  Think of all the colors that remind you of spring, and they were represented:  the lightest blue, the softest, creamiest sea green, shiny silver blended with pink, gorgeous lilac and bold tangerine. Some were printed with big, soft flowers, just enough to make them pretty, but never overpowering.


This is red carpet-ready glamour.   And Stern accomplishes this amazing elegance by going back to basics:  perfect tailoring,  stunning textures and just the right amount of bling, enough to enhance, but not so much that it takes away from her craftsmanship, a pair of glimmering clips here, a glistening snake halter there, a long, shining clip or thin belt perfectly placed.


Sequins shimmer on soft overlays, turning simple silhouettes into something special.  A strapless, black fishtail dress shined under every runway light.  Lace overlays added to the elegance, with soft satins shining through.  Ruffles and draping were also used to incredibly beautiful effect.


I think what amazes me most about Venexiana is the sheer volume of dresses that come down that runway.  There were 73 (73!!) looks in all, almost unheard of.  And these are no simple ready-to-wear schmatas.  Each one is complex, different, requiring thought, planning and lots of style.  I don’t know how a designer puts idea after idea down on paper, then executes all 73 of them to perfection, but season after season, that’s what Kati Stern does.  Gone are the days of goth, now she’s the Empress of glamour.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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