Alice + Olivia Fall Show by Designer Stacey Bendet at New York Fashion Week, February 2020 (Photo: Lev Radin/Gildshire)
For many years now, Stacey Bendet has brought eclecticism and whimsy to New York Fashion Week every season with her Alice + Olivia collections; this one being no different! With inspiration from interior designs and sustainability efforts, the Alice + Olivia Fall 2020 collection was like no other. Presented at Highline Stages in the Meatpacking District, even the set up of the show was spectacular.
Prior to this season, Bendet renovated an apartment in the iconic Dakota building. She channeled that creative process into her Fall 2020 collection by incorporating rich, graphic tapestries and vintage French fabrics. From dresses to puffer jackets, the prints were baroque and tapestry-esque. By setting the models up to appear in “scenes” rather than simply walk down the runway, Bendet created a movie set feel, as if production for a new film were about to begin. Beginning with a dark, but enchanting forest, the stage was literally set with an ephemeral, mystical feel. As the viewers continued, they saw an old world Orient Express train, keeping with exquisite greens and adding the bold yellow of the seats. Following were chateaus filled with vintage trunks, rugs, and other curiosities and a striking red room with a seemingly Asian influence.
Within the space, a curated DJ set was playing music that complemented the bohemian silks and bright prints of the collection thanks to Mia Moretti and Margot of The Dolls. Guests were able to wander around the venue to view the collection, which was staged across five exquisitely furnished vignettes with eclectic furniture and rugs. Each scene was imbued with a distinct color story and nomadic mood, enabling a view intended to transport the viewer into a different time period, a different world even. One might say that this collection is a modern love letter to the world of art and decor.
On the sustainability side of things, Alice + Olivia is one of the next major lines to move towards sustainability. As a huge issue in the fashion industry right now, several lines are doing their part to tackle it. To do so, Alice + Olivia collaborated with Zero Waste Daniel, a New York based designer and pioneer in his creative approach to sustainability, by collecting the excess fabric from the new Fall 2020 collection and using it to create embroidery and appliqué pieces for existing pieces. Excess fabric is typically disposed of in landfills so by using the leftovers for other pieces, less waste is formed. At the Future of Fashion sustainability panel back in 2016, Vogue reported that 150 billion new pieces of clothing are produced each year, with 2.5 billion pounds of used clothing ending up in landfills annually. The fashion industry produces 2.1 million tons of Co2 emissions; that is second only to the petroleum industry! Thankfully, many large brands are becoming more eco-conscious, Alice + Olivia being the newest one.
In 2002, Bendet founded Alice + Olivia with jeans being its foremost product. Over the years, she has expanded the brand to encompass ready-to-wear gowns, shoes, handbags, and accessories, thus becoming one of the top brands for womenswear. At the debut of the collection itself, Bendet was accompanied by several guests who mirrored the fashionable eclecticism of the brand, such as Victoria Justice, Huma Abedin, Tessa Hilton, and Danielle Bernstein. Of course, many others also came to preview the brand’s latest collection. Known for always including a nod to vintage fashion in her designs, Bendet explained, “What’s old is right again. We ought to take time to appreciate the beauty of what’s here, and make it new.” With
further inspiration by the globetrotter, Bendet amazed her loyal followers and the entire fashion world once again.