Stacey Bendet had "a nutty grad student turned assistant professor" in mind for the Alice + Olivia
pre-fall collection. Bohemian, too, the designer added. It was a specific vision for a sprawling lineup, but keep in mind that Bendet's eccentric academic spends as much time out on the town as she does in the library. So there were looks to take her from class to club—even a wedding dress, if she should get the nuptial itch. Narrative aside, any high-spirited girl would go for the selection of playful outerwear here, which was the collection's highlight. A gray, rugby-stripe topper came with detachable fox fur at the neck and wrists, and a striking coat with voluminous petticoats, big gilt buttons, and a nipped-in waist could double as a dress. A few looks did careen into costume-y territory, but then again, what self-respecting party girl doesn't have the occasional yen for a strapless palazzo jumpsuit with a crystal belt?