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Vena Cava's Lisa Mayock Sounds Off On Her All Hell Breaks Loose Style

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lisa-mayock-vena-cava-style-fashion-2aLeft: Lisa in the doorway to her living room wearing a vintage Anne Klein jumpsuit, Vena Cava necklace (a sneak peek at Spring 2010--"expect beaded safety pins, collage prints, and acid-washed silks"), and vintage heels. Right: In the closet, a Pee Wee Herman doll wearing a Day of the Dead mask sits among Lisa's purse collection. Enlarge Image
A few months ago when Gap's recent designer collaboration broke in NYC, you may have been confronted by one of the collection's soaring billboard images featuring three gorgeous models and two equally striking designers: Vena Cava's Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai. Did they totally outshine Raquel Zimmerman? Pretty much.
But being extremely devoted VC followers, we're not surprised the Vena Cava message is making its mark out in the world. And certainly much of that mark stems from the style genius of the designers themselves, whose mutual penchants for old and new textiles, uncommon historical references, and incongruous match-ups runs deep. In fact, we spend much of our time wishing Lisa--an expert at pairing beat-up sweatshirts with oversized silver chokers or party dresses with Keds--would impart a few of her style secrets. Lucky for us, we got a private tour of her newly made-over Williamsburg nest, which like her look, has a lost-and-found sort of elegance and ease. How does she make it look so easy? We wish we knew...but here are a few tips to get us started.
In 10 words or less, describe your style. "How about three words: Confuse and Amuse. Some kind of incongruous element is always essential--a sweatshirt worn with a beaded collar, or a long black gown with an old E.T. pin from the '80s always makes me feel like myself."
What are your earliest memories of fashion? Things that made you feel early on you wanted to be a designer... "I had a best friend growing up whose mom had the most incredible style—solid silk dress-suits with short pencil skirts, a severe black bob, and large colorful stones. I remember wanting to touch everything she had on—it was like visual candy."
You can only wear two designers: Who would they be? "'70s-era YSL and Gilbert Adrian."
Do you wear your own designs? "Yes."
We all loved your recent Gap collab. Do you have any mainstream basics? If so, how do you like to wear them? "Yeah! I love plain indigo skinny jeans with some kind of funny oversized T-shirt or sweater, a classic men's style button-up shirt with leather leggings, or wrapped around the waist with a short skirt, and I have a very oversized men's Carhart jacket that I like to wear with dresses when I feel like they're a little too girly."
What wouldn't you be caught dead wearing? "That's a difficult question. I often have complete changes of heart about certain looks. And I love things that are good taste/bad taste and other things that are just plain tacky. So, honestly, the only thing I can think of right now that I would never wear is a 'sexy' Halloween costume. Which you may see me in come October."
Name something in your wardrobe you'll never throw away? "Old T-shirts, sweatshirts, and leather pieces...they just keep getting better with time."
Not that we're surprised, but your apartment is off-the-charts cool. And we hear you just gave it a little makeover...what look were you going for? "If I had to give it a name, it would be called 'Things I Like.' That was pretty much the only criteria."
You're a Brooklyn lady, but if you could would you pack up and live somewhere else? "Udaipur, India was the most strange and wonderful place I've ever been to. There's a thick layer of mist over everything, dense green foliage that looks like the jungle, a castle in the middle of a lake, and they sell medieval weapons on the street. What else do you need?"
If your style had a theme song, what would it be? "'All Hell Breaks Loose' by the Misfits."
More Posts: Stylist and Store Owner Maryam Nassir Zadeh is Our Style Star du Jour Sarah Sophie Flicker Dishes On Her Psychedelic-Meets-Chorus Girl Style.

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