alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet invites women to celebrate the innovation, glamour, and utter coolness of American fashion throughout modern history. For the Fall of 2023, CEO and Creative Director Stacey Bendet nods to the iconic moments, movements, and memories forged right here at home. “I find that fashion is often looking elsewhere for inspiration, but, in fact, America is where a lot of forward fashion eras took place: We created denim, we moved fashion into contemporary design, we created social media and lead the way for what defines pop culture and trend….” – Stacey Bendet.
American fashion moments dating back to the 1950s are heavily imbued throughout the collection. Remember the pin-up dress of the 50s? The one that is distinguished by its wide skirt and slim waist? For this collection, that dress is reimagined, with a dash of punk-rock. While it retains its shape, the skirt is layered with tulle and black cotton lace manufactured by America’s last-standing lace suppliers. There are references to Truman Capote’s swans with the use of a glamorous multi-colored brocade opera coat and elongated dress trains. Even the Uptown woman who lunches with her classic tweed jackets is seen in the collection (one of the jackets comes with a detachable feature for total versatility). Motifs of Hollywood glamour are present, with a vibrant red chiffon dress equipped with a dramatic flowing scarf and opera gloves. The collection takes you through decades of history, from 50’s ball gown skirts and corsets, to 60’s chic boucle, to 70’s bells and brocades, to modern striped sportswear….
American fashion is, of course, not singular. Straying away from the ultra-feminine, the collection includes movements that complete the Americana story. 90s grunge is prevalent throughout and seen in dramatic leather flair pants, and vegan studded moto-jackets further detailed with luxe crystal trims. Americans love their athletic wear, and sets produced in vibrant colors and made from elastic fabrics are detailed with athletic stripes to satisfy that craving. Hints of the early 2000s and Y2k fashion are seen in the heavy use of cool-girl denim. Bendet makes a clear fashion statement with the emphasis on elegant and beautifully tailored boucle jackets back to baggy jeans, a look she describes as iconically now!
For the presentation, alice + olivia brings visitors down memory lane. Classic Americana snacks, such as potato chips, peanut butter, and popcorn are blown up to large proportions in one setting. In another, the beauty of the American landscape and memories that come with road trips are revisited with a 90s Jeep taking center stage. The most iconic is a take on Andy Warhol’s prominently celebrated Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.
The key is this: the collection itself marries the several worlds of American fashion all while making them feel refreshingly modern, cool, and exciting. One may wear the hip-denim pants with a white tweed jacket for both day and eveningwear. Highly-opulent cocktail dresses are doused in crystals making for the perfect party dress. And, for career women or for women who are on the go, the couture-like jackets make for an ideal option. No item, not even the brocade opera coat, goes without the flexibility of dressing either up or down. It’s about American heritage and American fashion and how they inspire on another. “This was never about one singular icon. It was about all sorts of women being icons.” - Stacey Bendet