Despite being entirely aware of the facts, I can’t help but think that Stacey Bendet was inspired by Alice in Wonderland when naming her nine-year-old line, Alice & Olivia. It seems her collections are always filled with feminine pieces that could have been conceived in the dreams of an imaginative little girl, but with the edginess of the mad hatter. Her pre-fall 2011 collection is no exception. As with past collections, Bendet’s pre-fall line has a retro 1930’s tone to it with dramatic fur and floor-length skirts. The vintage-inspired pieces are given several updates including some mesmerizing sparkle that I can’t take my eyes off of!
Saturated Earth Tones
Exuding the casual glamour which typifies Alice & Olivia, this collection includes whimsical silhouettes brought down to earth by a neutral palette with pops of evergreen and amber. However, these aren’t last fall’s neutrals and earth tones of soft camel, grey and beige. They are the bold and saturated hues you might see on a hike through the Redwood Forest. Even more intriguing, a couple dresses feature abstract amber prints which almost appear to be tree bark or leaves grounded with knee high boots.
Sheers and Shimmer
I have always admired Bendet’s ability to construct a piece to be alluring without being revealing. She shows off her skill in this collection with solid miniskirts and minidresses covered with sheer floor-grazing fabric and one shouldered draped dresses. For those looking to embrace this spring’s long skirt trend, but want still want to show off their legs, these pieces are ideal. Several dresses are dipped (and a few are gloriously doused) in sequins, but maintain quiet elegance in soft shades of grey and pink and classic cuts.
Bendet topped many of the less ornate pieces with fur trim jackets. The collection featured large lush fur collars on cropped jackets as well as hip-hitting cardigans. Bendet skipped the neon fur trend and kept her pieces natural in speckled shades of white, brown and black. The standout of the fuzzy bunch is a Janis Joplin-worthy vest which Bendet steers decidedly away from rock star and toward working woman, completing the look with a tan briefcase, button-down blouse and plum trousers.
Each Alice & Olivia girl is adorned with at least one sharp accessory such as knee highs, retro shades, or a black beret. You lovely chictopians may already
have these fall staples in your closet, so keep them nearby to add that Alice & Olivia pop of casual glamour to any outfit.
The collection is a step away from her claim to fame, those perfectly skinny “staceypants” as her friends dubbed them. There are only two pairs of pants in the collection, one of which is so extravagantly flared , and part of a jumpsuit no less, it could be mistaken for a gown. But I most certainly am not complaining! Loose fit and the freedom to do splits (if the occasion ever called for it) make this jumpsuit number one on my lust list this year (along with everything else in the collection!).
All photos fromStyle.com