alice + olivia founder Stacey Bendet has never been afraid to embrace the bold and unconventional. It’s fitting, then, that the alice + olivia Spring 2018 presentation bypassed the traditional NYFW runway format in favor of a series of quirky vignettes meant to evoke the iconic Chelsea Hotel, whose artistic tenants substituted their work for rent. In homage to its inspiration, many celebrities channeled their creative talent into the elaborate set designs, including Jemima Kirke and Tallulah Willis.
Bendet’s design aesthetic is described on the AO website as the juxtaposition of “whimsical and flirty with the sexy and sophisticated.” This collection is a direct testament to just how delightful a marriage between feminine and kitsch can be. Flirty florals and ethereal silhouettes mix effortlessly with sleek separates and unapologetic statement tees. Both the print selection and color palette are a feast for the eyes, with each pop of color and playful design beckoning the consumer to push the envelope with a hint of hippie nostalgia. Fear not; crisp tailoring and smart proportions balance the collection from teetering over the edge of good taste.
The very careful and deliberate styling of the individual looks seem to be organized thematically based on each set, transporting the viewer to different times and places. The softer pastels and woodland backdrop suggested a dreamy nymph vibe, while the charmingly irreverent interiors appeared to reanimate the charmed lifestyle of a ’70s socialite.
This collection has something for everyone, from bellbottoms and breezy rompers to showstopping full-length skirts and impeccably fitted blazers. It’s impossible to truly take a definitive favorite, but if we had to choose the pieces we think came out on top, special mention would have to go to the Woodstock-esque embroidered jeans and the leaf three-piece ensemble. What can we say? We are suckers for an unexpected print. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the tee that proclaims “THE WORLD NEEDS MORE SPARKLE” because given the current state of affairs of the world we live in, we could definitely use a heaping helping of the stuff. On that note, the show exudes an undercurrent of magic and whimsy that feels downright cathartic in times like these.
Overall, the alice + olivia Spring 2018 collection is a nod to every woman who’s not afraid to embrace her creativity and express her femininity. It certainly fulfills its mission of speaking to “the artsy intellectual living in a world where she wants to uplift others and be uplifted.” We can all aspire to live in a more uplifting world—and to look stylish while doing so.
For more information, visit www.aliceandolivia.com.
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alice + olivia Spring 2018 collection: Photographs courtesy of alice + olivia