Saturday, February 18, 2012

New York Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012: Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet

Alice + Olivia dubbed Autumn/Winter 2012 the "year of the dinner party" as the brand has quite a bit to toast to amongst friends this year, not least their ten-year anniversary and the launch of their first ever ad campaign. 

Designer Stacey Bendet was at her girly quirky best, sticking with a Lolita-inspiration and churning out separates and dresses as resplendent with the brand's DNA as ever. The vibe was "Coquette Cool" with a newfound emphasis on outerwear and chic knit dressing including calf length and body skimming dresses, quintessential American party dressing with a French twist. 

Intricate textures of rich boucle spliced with leather, jacquard embroidery mixed with brocades and tapstries and furs overlaying custom prints and flowing chiffon, the color palette was bold and bright as ever. 

This season also saw Bendet move into full-blown eveningwear with the launch of her first gowns, a natural add-on for the go-to party dressing brand, and bound to bring evening into the realm of the affordable for the girl who loves to lust but not break the bank.

There were floor-skimming, full-skirted printed taffeta and intricate lace dresses toughened up with leather jackets and a glittering emerald sequin column, a shrewd move guaranteed to delight the brand's fan base and walk not one or two red carpets thanks to A+O's considerable celeb following.

The presentation itself was staged like the ultimate mad dinner party, waiters circulated with cocktails and mini Magnum ice-cream bars whilst a large, elaborate dinner table dominated the center of the room, presumably the whacky setting where the coquettes will be taking their seats as soon as the last of the presentation's guests had been cleared away to indulge in a deliciously eccentric yet palpably chic meal with their fearless creator. 

As the designer herself said at the presentation, "a dress is only a dress until it's a story." Bon appetit to that, Stacey!

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