Alice + Olivia’s fall collection tells a story. “I was inspired by Salman Rushdie’s book The Enchantress of Florence,” says Stacey Bendet, the creative director and mastermind of the label. Rushdie’s book, which takes place between Renaissance Florence and Mughal India, tells the story of a woman forging her own way in a man’s world. Bendet’s collection tells a similar tale with designs that perfectly capture the feminine-masculine dichotomy and the vibrancy of the Italian Renaissance.
The fantasy and fable that has inspired Bendet’s line maintains her signature whimsy. Using vintage silhouettes, embellished fabrics and colorful prints, Bendet is true to her brand as she artfully interprets the conversation of female empowerment. Below, we caught up with the creative director to discuss the power of storytelling through design.
What’s the most exciting thing about your fall 2017 collection?
I love the intricate beaded jackets, the colors, the brightness, the camouflage jackets and cargo pants juxtaposed with embroideries of India … and the Botticelli Primavera prints!
Alice + Olivia Leann bell sleeve tunic dress
How do you mix feminine and masculine this season?
In this collection, I am depicting the story of a woman creating her own destiny in a man’s world with a combination of combat and romance. Renaissance-inspired lace tops with dramatic bell sleeves, sequin and silk slipdresses, and ruffle skirts are styled alongside patent leather bombers and camouflage pants. The clothing is very glamorous, but with a rebellious, rock ‘n’ roll vibe.
Alice + Olivia Andreas houndstooth jacket
What are some new ways women can layer for fall?
I strongly encourage mixing genres: sequin pantsuits with statement tees; embellished floral tops with patent leather skirts and combat boots; sequin-embellished miniskirts with leather varsity jackets and lace-up thigh-highs; embellished cigarette jeans with tweed jackets. Each pairing embodies a woman who is both fierce and feminine.
Alice + Olivia Philomena feather dress
If you could give every woman one piece of advice, what would it be?
It is important that women support each other in the work force and in life. I believe in leading by example. As a female CEO, I want to create an environment where women can be empowered and challenged.
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