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At Vena Cava, A Competition For Sale Dresses and Mirror Space

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Just ten minutes in to the Vena Cava sale, the place already looked like some alterna-world rummage sale, as the walls were lined with girls frantically disrobing while guarding their rapidly accumulated piles of silk and beaded dresses and jersey tees. Shoppers were clearly energized by the sale offering 40% to 70% off the spring and fall 2010 collections, especially because the inclusion of the Viva Vena diffusion line means there are options for a range of budgets. Prices start at $20 for Viva Vena tees and top out at $275 for Vena Cava fall 2010 coats. The signature coveted dresses sit somewhere in between, so let's get to it.

Working our way up the price ladder starting with Viva Vena, the prices run from $20 for tees and tanks to $60 for dresses (like the rope necklace Periodical style) and $85 for hoodies. We contemplated paying $40 for the "v" studded Formula sweatshirt, but it still seemed high for the cotton/poly/rayon blend. Plus it was hard not to compare the flimsy jersey dresses to the fancy frocks on the Vena Cava side.

There are a couple racks of spring 2010, with garments running from $50 to $125 (designated by colored dots). If you shop as much as we do, you'll notice some from the last sale and Lucky Shops. The black tank dress with the silver maze swirls is only $50.

We know you're all waiting for the details on the fall 2010 dresses, so here goes. The frocks are separated into two tiers: $145 for category two and $195 for category one and they're all mixed into the racks. There are handy picture charts to figure out the price, but it's a no-brainer that the more intricate pieces are $195. In the $195 category two, we saw the slinky brown and metallic rust Heddles (originally $585), the tiered-graphic Fellowship (in two color patterns and originally $350) and the tribal-style beaded Layetter (originally $625). (Just an FYI, quite a few of the more elaborate styles were obstructed by women changing in front of a corner mirror, so you'll have to soldier through.)

Amongst the Category One $145 frocks, we noticed the safari style Lomaland (originally $425) and the zip-front and print skirt Chicago (originally $395).

On the separates rack, prices run from $65 for tanks to $85 for blouses to $185 for jackets and $275 for coats (including shiny black puffies and a few wool numbers). Sadly, there were zero $150 leather pieces to be seen. Also, take a look at the 100% cashmere Oneida scarf hood in black and grey for just $50 (originally $242).

Lastly, we must mention the $40 bins, which were kind of disappointing. The contents were a mix of old styles, a few picked-over samples and some damaged pieces. There are also a $20 t-shirt bin and a $25 beaded necklace bin, if you're interested.

All purchases under $100 require cash; credit is accepted over $100. Good news: There is additional stock in the back and more sizes are available. Look out for the friendly Vena-Cava–outfitted staffers for assistance. As you can probably guess, there are no fitting rooms, so dress accordingly and be prepared to guard your pile and fight for mirror space.
· Dealfeed: Vena Cava [Racked]
· Vena Cava [Official Site]