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Judging from the hopped-up bevy of shoppers at the VIP preview last night, the Vena Cava sale may be a bit of a jungle today when it opens to the public at 10am. The sale is offering up to 70% off spring 2011 pieces from Vena Cava and diffusion line Viva Vena, plus heavily marked-down samples and past season pieces. Fear not, shoe fiends: The Loeffler Randall sale is also going on simultaneously. Since it's pretty much a separate sale in the same space, we're giving each brand their own post. Patience is a virtue, so let's start with Vena Cava.
The mélange of past-season (euphemism for their term: "older merchandise") and sample pieces is bigger this time around and actually arranged onto two racks—a major upgrade from the ratty bins we dug through last time around. We'd suggest you take a look there first. Even if you aren't so into samples, there are a fair amount of past season pieces (yes, repeats from last sales) in various sizes. The pricing runs as follows: bottoms for $40, tops for $50, and dresses for $100. (Yes, that's up from the past $40 per item, but think of it as the overhead cost of labor, racks, and hangers).
On the racks, we found overstock selections of the tribal beaded-shoulder Layetter frock (originally $625), the creamy fringy shift dress, and the Surf's Up black maxi with wide brown belt from spring 2010. The one-off samples are mixed into the bunch, so you need to look. But beware: They're true sample size. (We snatched up a slouchy grey leather jacket that basically renders us immobile, but hey, we'll take short, shallow breaths for a $50 leather sample). Also look carefully as the more elaborate and delicate pieces may be damaged.
The spring 2011 pieces, which are currently in stores, are organized on the main racks to the left and back of the sale and are priced by color dot. Pricing is pretty much the same as last time, although for some reason easier to read (matching dollar amounts with dress photos oddly took a fair amount of time). Prices run $65 for tanks, $75 for shorts, $85 to $110 for blouses, $95 for pants, $125 for skirts, $145 to $195 for dresses and $185 for jackets. Some of our favorites included the marled halter and pleated maxi-dress, the periwinkle zig-zaggy print tank frock, and the blue and white China-vase–reminiscent peasant top.
The Viva Vena rack, located to the back right of the sale, remained relatively undisturbed in the melée last night. We saw lots of sailor stripes and comfy, oatmeal-ish neutrals neatly hanging. Pricing runs from $20 for tees and tanks to $45 for skirts to $60 for dresses to $95 for hooded cardies. We admired the navy and white maxi tank dress, but were questioning its level of clinginess. There are also various $25 bins sprinkled under the racks containing slouchy tanks, relaxed tops and various prints and colors.
Sizing for the spring pieces is mainly random and dependent on the style. Per usual, there are no dressing rooms, so be prepared. If it's anything like the last sales, you know the drill: Hoard the clothes, find a mirror, mark your spot with your pile of frocks, and start stripping. Cash and credit are both accepted, but tax is not charged with cash payments, so we suggest bringing your roll. Everything is out on the floor, so we suggest getting there early for the best selection.
· Dealfeed: Vena Cava & Loeffler Randall [Racked NY]
· At Vena Cava, A Competition for Sale Dresses and Mirror Space [Racked NY]
· Vena Cava [Official Site]