Alice + Olivialand

9.17.2012

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{backstage at the A+O show}
For Diane Von Furstenburg, it was the wrap dress. For Stacey Bendet, creative genius behind the American fashion house Alice + Olivia, it was pants. Indeed, the frilly frock designer got her start with none other than pants.

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{stacey in her TriBeCa loft; that closet. gimme. that darling little play area to the right is for her two little girls, who you can assume are some of the best dressed five-year-olds on the streets of Manhattan}
Stacey had a creative bug from a young age (likely spawned by her father's involvement in the textile business), but she had trouble pinning where to channel that creativity. While dabbling in apparel flash web sites, she noted a serious void in the pant department. America was going through a major denim deluge at the time; it was the dawn of luxury denim. You know, back in the day when you had to have those Seven jeans?

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She decided to take matters into her own hands by launching a line of 20 trousers built to flatter and stand out. Sooner than she could say Alice + Olivia, Barney's picked up the line. Since then, she's teamed up with Andrew Rosen of Theory and the rest is style success story history.  

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Her spring 2013 ready-to-wear line, released just days ago at New York's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, was a marvel to look at. Though some would criticize the line for being inconsistent, I found the pieces to be refreshingly cohesive yet each suiting the taste of different individuals. For every bold patterned gown, there was a neutral frock to balance it out. Each look had a quality I loved, whether it be the pattern, the bodice top (a recurring theme), or the handbags, which was a new designing endeavor this year.

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There's an undeniable attraction to Alice + Olivia for all girly-girls out there. But Stacey's not a slave to the sweetheart type. Girl can do edgy. This combination makes for a line of eye-popping pieces that are just shy of being too frilly and fussy and thus just plain fabulous.

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It's always odd to already be peeking at the trends for next spring when sweater season is soon to come, but Texas weather makes this task less of a stretch.

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I think we all know how I feel about a good white-button-down look.

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The line was inspired by the American dream in the 1950s--"you now, that late-1950s optimism that anything is possible," she says.

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Some of the show's attendees described it to be much like attending the most lovely picnic.

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This optimistic collection is ideally timed in an era of much political fuss and our society's overwhelming attention to stress, worry and work. Art is supposed to be an escape and fashion design is certainly no exception to that rule.

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It's safe to say Stacey Bendet Eisner (now married to the son of Disney's former CEO) has come a long way since her original claim to fame, the "Stacey Pants." So here here to the woman who went from pants to peplums, flash sites to fifties glam frocks. You're an inspiration to us all.

1 comments:

Julianne said...

love love love
you know I'm a sucker for some A&O frocks myself