Launched in 2002, alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet is clothing that packs a powerful personality punch, and lots of it. This year’s spring 2012 assortment was inspired by the idea of the “Very Secret Garden,” a classic concept of knowledge, mystery, and wonder. It is a ready-to-wear collection of party dresses, crop-tops, bustiers, here-to-stay maxi dresses, high-rise wide leg pants and other separates that do not fall short of a feminine magnetism.
Entering the showroom was like entering the closet of my dreams…and that’s before I even noticed the shoes! Bold purple, poppy, orange, green, strawberry pink and icy blue all popped against the white walls of the room. Pretty suede, silk, and tweed fabrics captured the essence of the private garden theme. One-shoulder shift dresses and the incorporation of numerous bustier tops offered a sensual feel, while both exaggerated and miniature floral patterns maintained the season’s girlish charm. I can totally envision the summery knits paired with the brand’s premier line of colored denim; a fun rack filled with bubble gum pink, lemon yellow, and robin’s egg blue jeans.
The spring assortment of a+ 0 shoes, Bendet’s first full line, presented gorgeous bright wedges, some plain and some adorned with painted snakeskin. Yet, neutrals also remained essential to the sky high pumps, wedges, and flat sparkling sandals. Overall, the looks can certainly please a number of girls, moods and styles. Bendet also continues to expand her aesthetic collaborating with the legendary Gene Meyer on a scarf collection.
The alice + olivia girl is the life of the party, in a sweet, refined way. You can’t take your eyes off of her — there is glitz and glam via sequins, feather, and leather, but there is also a delicate undertone beneath the entire line. Perhaps this ethereal duality is what makes the clothing and accessories so appealing and enduring.
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