In today’s social climate, Stacey Bendet’s brand of female empowerment at Alice + Olivia is as relevant as ever. Her fashion week presentations seem to attract exponentially more guests every season, which you can boil down to an overall sense of openness and inclusion.
“We’re so much about female empowerment and positivity,” Bendet noted during the presentation, adding: “That’s what our brand’s been about for 20 years. I like when everyone comes into my home, my office, my stores to feel really welcomed, and really warm, and really embraced, and to leave feeling even better about themselves. Our shows are a manifestation of that. And they’re creative and fun to Instagram.”
Fun indeed. Spring was all about bold colors in playfully unexpected combinations. Each look at the presentation managed to incorporate four colors, from the eye shadow down to the shoes. Voluminous skirts had color-blocked stripes, while other energetic looks relied on building solid separates. The freshest take came through an orange halter top and lavender pants styled under a yellow and mint-blue reversible coat.
She built multiple vignettes stemming from a theme conceptually derived from a “field of dreams.” There were clouds with models clad in hot pink sportswear and baby pink loungewear; a lavender field filled with floral dresses, and a playpen with knits juxtaposed against slinky dresses, among other rooms. “Look at the fabric, look at the detailing. You really have to see the clothes up close,” she added. The texture of a pretty moiré blouse could be appreciated at second glance, as could the sheen of a hot-pink top with puff sleeves. Among the vignettes was a Volkswagen beetle wrapped in the season’s hero print, allowing guests to partake in the model set experience.
More than just an advocate for women, Bendet is taking on the role of fashion mentor. Beginning this season through a collaboration with Murder Bravado, Bendet will be giving younger designers a platform to showcase their work, either at her presentations or through in-store events. “I have 44 stores around the world, and the ability to help them. I’ll manufacture it, produce it. You guys play, you guys design, you guys create.” Fashion fairy godmother for all? She just might be.
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