Need a perfect job-interview outfit? Look no further than Alice + Olivia. Stacey Bendet’s collection features flowing, wide-legged trousers and suit jackets that are more bolero than menswear. These combinations are typical of her wildly popular brand, which follows trends, but not to the letter, making them accessible to varied ages and body types.
Boho tunics with a fitted waist and lace detail are more Palm Springs than Woodstock, and straight-cut distressed jeans look stylish, not as though they’d been designed by a toddler using scissors. The “cold shoulder” trend looks office- or brunch-friendly in a fitted silhouette, and a midi dress with a plunging neckline and black lace layered over a nude slip are much more interesting than the bandage dresses that are impossible for nearly anyone to pull off.
wednesday, march 21
Alice + Olivia
Presented by Bobbi Lampros; benefiting YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund
6:30 p.m. cocktail reception
8 p.m. fashion show
$95 Reserved; $80 General;
thursday, march 22
Alice + Olivia
11 a.m.–3 p.m. Reception Tent at Fashion Week El Paseo
Free to the general public
The brand scores repeatedly with its bright but wearable prints (these are not your mother’s ’80s fruit-print dresses), in lengths from above the knee to maxi. The elusive romper trend is actually wearable in a classic floral pattern over black fabric, with a flirty attached scarf. Bendet even manages to make a shift dress printed with a facsimile of a Beatles album cover appropriate, whether you’re 24 or 64.
Along those multi-generational lines, Bendet supports young designers as part of an initiative with the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, which grants money and scholarships to the fashion community, supporting organizations such as the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. A portion of the proceeds of every ticket sold to the Alice + Olivia show at Fashion Week El Paseo will go toward an FSF scholarship. “Annually, we present scholarships from $5,000 to $35,000, leading the industry in support and commitment to education,” says FSF CEO Doug Evans. “Our scholarship, intern, and mentoring programs bring young talent to the forefront, and after graduation, we continue to work with our alumni to further careers of the young professionals we consider to be the future of fashion.”
That fits right in with Bendet’s sensibility. On one Alice + Olivia rack you might find an embellished jean jacket for your daughter; on the next you’ll discover a damask caftan, the perfect gift for your grandmother to wear on her Caribbean cruise. Bendet’s ability to appeal to a wide range of ages is a singular trait, one that renders her pieces both trendy and timeless.
For tickets and more information, visit fashionweekelpaseo.com.