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Stacey Bendet gathered a gaggle of starlets at Palihouse in Los Angeles to toast Alice + Olivia’s new shoe line on Wednesday night, and while DJs and face painters kept the crowd entertained, the designer didn’t stop working for a minute.


This story first appeared in the August 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“When I saw the shoes on Stacey, that sold me,” said Amber Lancaster. “She makes you want to wear what she’s wearing.”


Bendet’s sparkly silver mary janes were one of the styles available for guests to preorder, gratis. But even if they weren’t free, they wouldn’t break the bank, which was a good thing in Aimee Teegarden’s case, since she wanted “to take home, like, 20 pairs.”


“There weren’t any cute dress-up shoes in the contemporary price range,” said Bendet, adding, “Look, I’m not the most price sensitive person, but your shoes shouldn’t cost 10 times as much as your dress.”


Lauren Conrad, who hawks her own line of accessible clothing, Paper Crown, agreed. “I have to say I own a pair of J. Crew wedges that make very frequent appearances.”


Other guests viewing the wares while sipping Activate (apparently the vitamin-infused water du jour) through straws included Jordana Brewster, Aly Michalka, Shenae Grimes and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

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