We are headed up to Woodstock this weekend to isolate ourselves and design the next collection. We have 3 days. I picked up the William Klein box set so we can have something to watch while we make collages. There will be a Woodstock post in a few days... for now here is some cool imagery of Dada facepaint!


Finally got a chance to go by Deitch and check this out after work. Best thing I've seen in a long time. The pixalated images would make rad prints on silk. Very cool! If you are around Soho and have not seen it yet, go at at 5pm to see the organ being played.  It's free and will make your day. 

September 03 — October 17, 2009 
18 Wooster Street, New York 


Happy Birthday Lisa! We love you.


Katy at Dirty Hems just made this VC inspired safety pin top.
Katy, we think you are totally awesome, we love how the small safety pins look,
and it is so amazing styled with the floral print dress!

VC loves DIY.


In my next life, I would like to be reincarnated as this man's socks and shoes.
What a glorious combination. My favorite part is the oil stain.


We have lots of photos. These ones Georgia took backstage.
Eleanor and Matt from The Fiery Furnaces played.
We had fashion television interviews. We talked about Maude Lebowski to the press.


We did the lookbook shoot a few days before the show with Georgia Nerheim

Photo credit: © Marilia Destot


Here are a few shots from the castings at Milk Studios.

Deep in conversation with our casting director Noah Shelley.

The space at Milk is amazing, so much light and views over the Hudson. We got to watch people kayak while we watched the models walk.


We had our show on Thursday. Spring 2010 was inspired by the Ndeble tribe, 90's Versace, and Maude Lebowski.

Visors: Yestadt Millenary
Shoes: Robert Clergerie
Shades: Persol
Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.


Dissecting artistic talent can be a slippery, elusive thing. Its often difficult to articulate what draws you in to the the work of a specific person, what it says to you, why you like it, what it means- all those Big Questions. Jason Alper's genius is that he is completely fluent in the language of clothing- and he's goddamn hilarious. He met Sasha Baron Cohen in a friend's apartment in London 12 years ago and they have been collaborating ever since.

How rare is the artist who is interesting and compelling to both the casual observer and the savant. Whether youre a fashion designer or someone with no interest in clothes at all, you completely understand what he's saying.

some examples:

And a few questions:

LM: How does the collaboration with Sasha work?

JA: We come up with the characters together- he comes up with certain elements- the way the charcter acts and talks, and I come up with the costumes and the visual element.

LM: So what was the first character you came up with?

JA: The first character we created was Bruno actually. And the joke was that he would never be able to get into any actual fashion shows. But we realized that theres actually just as much material to work with without the whole show element.

LM: Do you have any formal design or fashion training?

JA: Ive been doing this for 20 years now. and working with Sasha for 12. I worked in theaterical costumes for 3 years. All kinds of clothing from the 1700s to modern day, that was my training. And then at 21 I went freelance and have been freelance ever since. It feels crazy, but I guess you could say Ive made it. 12 years ago I met Sasha, and we started doing characters. And it worked with Sasha from day one.

LM: Yeah! Id say its working quite well. So you travel with Sash on set?

JA: Well there are no sets. Everything is a real life situaion and everyone is oblivious to whats going on. All the situations are real. We have the luxury of not having loads of people around all the time. You don’t even know that were making a movie. Sasha literally has a camera on his lap at certain points. We don’t even have lights! It not a big budget Hollywood film kind of experince. Id liken it more to film school, which I ve never been to. Im so lucky to have a project like this that’s a blank canvas. Im much happier doing something like that than a period drama- theres nothing new there.

LM: Did you always want to go into fashion?

JA: No, I left school at 16, I wasn’t very academic and I didn’t really fit in. Both my parents are hairdressers and I discovered that I can cut hair. So I did hairdressing for a couple years and then I became a window dresser at this high-end clothing store where I met the costume designer for Batman. So I talked to him and told him you know I love clothes but I don’t like working in retail, how can I get to do what you’re doing? And they told me to go see a guy called Tim Angel at a costume house called Angels. So I went on my lunch break and he basically offered me a job. So I worked there for a couple of years and then I moved to another costume shop. From there I kind of moved into a production company and I’ve always kind of worked and did a bunch of British TV shows and other things. And then I met Sasha, he was an out of work actor and we talked and we created these characters Ali G, Borat, and Bruno. And we’ve worked together now for about 12 years and it’s just been brilliant and I’ve been very lucky. Just very lucky that we got to come to America and everyone liked it.

LM: Are there more characters that you guys made together?

JA: No, those were the 3 characters and now we’ve made 3 movies together and I think it’s time and we all need a little bit of time away from each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if we did more together in the future, but at the moment everyone is doing their own thing.

LM: What’s your starting point with a character? Do you have an idea based on a person or do you sketch or drape?

JA: Yeah, well let’s say its Ali G. There was a DJ called Armin Van Buren, and his style was kind of what Ali G was modeled after, his clothes kind of idolized Ali G. There always needs to be some kind of repeated element. Something to make the character iconic. For Bruno, it was the Zac Efron style hair, and the fact that none of his shirts would have sleeves. For Ali G, I put him in yellow glasses and always covered his hair. This was also so that no one would be able to tell what race he was- that his race was ambiguous was important. Most things I’m working on I have a very specific idea about, but sometimes there is a lot of searching to find the right look.

LM: So did Bruno have a specific person that was like a starting point?

JA: No, he actually didn’t. When we started Bruno actually had crimped blonde hair and a tiny mustache. And then he had a faux-hawk.

LM: And did you sketch or sew any of the garments?

JA: I can if I have to. It’s like life or death if I have to. But I’ve gotten to the point now where it’s a luxury really and I’ve got people that help me make things. When I made the green bathing suit for Borat I didn’t want it to look like a costume. I’ve just gotten very lucky and gotten great seamstresses. One really great one who made the Velcro costume for Bruno. Bruno probably had around 100 different costumes so there was a lot to do.

LM: How many of those costumes did you design and create? And how many did you find?

JA: I would say about half and half. I found a few things and I would fit them and cut out the crotch and I designed the rest. Most of the things Bruno would wear I would find on the sale rack in designer stores. So I got lucky in that aspect. But some of it is very instinctual. When I go shopping I am very picky because I know exactly what I am looking for.


I never thought Id see the day, but yesterday Sharpie sent a giant box of these custom Vena Cava sharpies to our studio. Its oddly appropriate to have our own Sharpie, since this pen has been our weapon of choice for years now. Last season we showed a number of "gunmetal" lace pieces- which was actually gold lace completely sharpied to look silver. Our intern deserved a trophy for that one. We also enjoy using Sharpies to deface silks, t-shirts, khaki from the Gap, AND- coming this November to a retailer near you- high top Converse.


As part of Fashion's Night Out on September 10th, we will be co-hosting a block party carnival with the awesome boutique Bird at their Williamsburg Store (click for map).

Bird will be selling limited edition Vena Cava dresses that we made out of 10 archival prints from the last 10 seasons for only $100!!

We are raffling off a free dress and a studio tour!

There will be art by Susanna Howe, awesome DJs, carnival games, food from all the yummy local restaurants, a gourmet ice cream truck, face painting from Cinders Gallery artists
and so much more!
And you can't possibly miss the Fashion Industry Celebrity Dunk Tank!

10% of the proceeds from our sales at Bird, and ALL the proceeds from the carnival
games and food, will be donated to Added Value, an urban youth farming initiative
based in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Please come by if you are in the neighborhood!!!!