Stacey Bendet has mined European travel for inspiration in the past, but wanted to focus her attention distinctly back on America. Her resort collection celebrated American sportswear with her brand of feminine flair and an optimistic tone of power in femininity.
Positive political messaging was a big trend on the fall runways, and elements of that coursed through Bendet’s latest collection. “Come Together” was printed on the back of a sporty jacket; an all-over “Feminist” print appeared on sheer skirts; “Big Love” on a blush top, and a sequined “YES” on a bold red hoodie. Less overt were heart prints and a color palette of red, white, blue and rainbow on silhouettes that were simultaneously flirty, sexy and strong. Bell bottoms with a rainbow stripe down the side, a minidress with dark rainbow paillettes and striped suiting and ruffled dresses in patriotic colors were some standouts.
Bendet twisted classic American sportswear to suit her customer, positing at a walk-through: “How do you take Americana and make it sporty but still really feminine, like you’re going to wear it out at night?” She proposed classic shirting with exaggerated cuffs, blazers with permanently tacked, bunched-up sleeves, widened necklines on trenchcoats and shirtdresses, shimmery metallic ruffle knit polos and track pants with snap closures up to the thigh. “The Alice + Olivia girl is really feminine, so if she’s wearing a track pant, she wants to be sexy.” The message was clear: stay optimistic, have fun and own your feminine strength.