When it comes to designing a collection, some fashion designers not only think about what the clothes look like and how they fit, they also forecast how the clothes will move in real life, what they say about how society is moving. Stacey Bendet’s vision of feminism and where it’s headed is right on target. Bold, powerful, dynamic, and filled with light positivity: the Alice + Olivia collection for Fashion Week 2019 was a fantasy beyond what people could’ve imagined.
A scene was created, but even more than that, a feeling was evoked. The room was chaotic and obviously jam-packed, but regardless of the bustle all around, the clothes shone. They stopped the room. One of the benefits of putting on a presentation in contrast to a runway show is that you can fit so many more people in a room, and rather than have the crowd sit still and the models walk, a presentation allows the people to move freely around the fashion installation. Kind of a different approach to living art. But the truth is, Stacey Bendet has been at this a while, and I was just doing some light reading, and Vogue kind of thinks it’s about time we move back to the runway. I don’t know that I fully agree. No runway would’ve been able to capture the emotion and excitement that this presentation was able to elicit.
The room was spectacular. The budget they must’ve blown through to put together the space is unimaginable. Every corner was Instagram worthy—from the colours to the design—the vintage kitchen and dreamy bubble gum living space were beyond. Everything stood out and on the level of detail, I have to say, I was so impressed by the floating clouds and gigantic flowers. There was something so idyllic, yet provocative.
I’ve always had a thing for Alice + Olivia clothing. Their line encapsulates my idea of feminine fashion fused with raw and bold strength. I just feel every piece is so empowering and I always feel sexy when I wear clothes that not only look great, but sends a statement. I felt the collection for this season had a strong message of throwing back to a time when women didn’t necessarily flood the workforce, but still dressed smart. By evoking that silhouette and that 60s way of dressing, Bendet brought back that look of female professional, but in 2019 that means something totally different given our cultural and political climate.
I wore my smart black pants with an evil-eye printed blouse, frills and all. I love the simple palette of black pant, white shirt and red YSL purse. Then, of course, mixing and matching a black on white pattern on top with cheetah down low from Black Suede Studio. Something unassuming about the pair, but all of blends just so seamlessly. Billie Boutique always gets it right when it comes to styling a perfect Fashion Week look, and they have a great selection of Alice + Olivia so I knew it was where I’d find my look for their show.
I love a good day show, and not to my surprise, the colours in the room just lit up the day even brighter. I think I could have predicted that bows and belts were upon is, it has been steadily creeping into everything from headbands to shorts and shoes. But the colour-blocking was just another level. A + O hit it on point with their colour combos and perfectly distributed palette. Again, it was bold and bright, but it functions in the way women express themselves when it comes to everyday wear, whether it’s work attire or an evening function. We rock the sneaker with skirt look and we love to throw on an oversized trench with a good ol’ fashioned turtle neck. We are playful, and that’s what I loved about this collection, it kind of said that anything is possible – in clothes, in set design, and in the artistic presentation.
Photographie by Patricia Brochu