I was reasonably sure when I walked into the Alice + Olivia presentation that I wouldn’t be seeing much white minimalism. I was correct. Gold glitter covered every surface, and Stacey Bendet was dressed in a silver twinkling bolero, black sparkly beaded dress, and bejeweled hair piece. Even her eyelids were glittery. I got to chat with her for a few minutes, feeling quite bland in my black and grey ensemble. Thank goodness my earrings were sparkly.
Fashionista: So tell me about the collection:
Stacey Bendet: The whole concept of the show was supposed to be this sort of timeless travel. The feel is a mix of ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and I wanted everything to be mixed and matched in a way that it all felt fresh, but each piece you’re not sure when it came from. It’s very cool and detailed and classic, and I want you to be able to pick it up and wear it ten years from now.
Your pants are what made you famous, and I personally love how they fit. Do you ever find yourself sick of doing pants?
No! Each season I get inspired by a new pant body. And there’s always that one that feels very fashion and that one that you start wearing every day. The challenge is reinterpreting that, mixing up the fashion pant and casual pant. I’m really excited about the pants for spring. They’re kind of those supermodel pants. They’re really comfortable, with a slimming leg and long boot cuts. We did some lower bootcut and we did some higher waist ones that look really sexy.
Tell me about Tavi’s styling gig for you.
I just adore her. I look at her and she could be my little sister. She’s amazing and she’s genius. When I look at her aesthetic and I look at the way she dresses—she’s got an amazing sense herself. I feel like she’s a true original. Not a lot of people, especially in the journalism world, are like that. She has such a voice. She’s like an enigma to me. We asked her if she would want to style the bands (The Pierces and Amanda Blank) because I thought that would be really fun for her. She had a really great time doing it.
Now that you’ve been on Vanity Fair’s best dressed list, do you feel a lot of pressure when you get dressed to go out?
Sometimes. I only wear my own clothes. Sometimes I’ll mix it up with vintage. I think I’ve always felt pressure because everything I wear HAS to look good because it’s what we make. I guess a little bit, because people are looking a little more intensely at what you’re wearing. I used to run around in tutus, now are people caring more? I feel like fashion should be fun. That’s the whole vibe of A+O. Fashion shouldn’t be this serious, scary, stone-faced front row.
And she means it. A+O shows are a blast, and this one was no exception. Styles, patterns, sparkle, and textures clashed in a riot of pure joy. There was absolutely no cohesion, but that’s exactly the point. On top of this chaos of color, the models had fantastic manicures. Shiny metallic, blue with polka dots, checkerboard, and animal prints all showed up.
I saw where they were going with the styling. The look had a very vintage vibe. If you start to take apart the seemingly busy pieces, there’s a ton of wearability there.
I really loved a sheer lace beaded granny cardigan that could easily be tossed on over jeans. There were some easy chiffon maxi-dresses, and Stacey’s other mainstay, the cute short party dress. And the orange high-waisted supermodel pants were a knockout.
Alice + Olivia has also just launched a shoe collection. There were a few neutral pumps and slouchy open-toed booties, but my favorites were less sedate. Tiffany blue platforms, animal prints mixed with primary colors, glitter-encrusted with metal plate details on the heel—these are the fairy tale shoes. Stacey said they’re going to be available only selectively at first. Don’t expect to see them everywhere A+O is sold.
Finally, after watching a long line of celebrities come in (like Denise Richards and Joe Manganiello from True Blood), I spotted the girl of the hour, Tavi.
She was wearing white with a quite avant-garde grey motorcycle jacket. A white faux (well, it looked faux–I didn’t touch it) shearling handbag and orthopedic sandals with lavender ankle socks completed the look. Everyone left her alone for the most part. I sent her some love from Fashionista and congratulated her on her success. As a fellow Chicagoan, I also thanked her for highlighting the fact that indeed, Midwesterners can be stylish. She seemed shy–or I was incredibly boring–so I left her taking pictures of the band. Girl’s gotta blog. I get it.
One final note on the styling Tavi did for The Pierces. She had a light touch. One sister was in a short full black shirt and top with feathered cap sleeves. The other one wore a sequined skirt and grey top, with an interesting mix of leather and feather jewelry.
After having a pink fizzy drink, I walked out of there with stars in my eyes and glitter all over my butt.