Every season, Alice + Olivia
produces a lookbook with a mise-en-scène befitting the collection's theme. Judging by an image of the famed Café de Flore as the backdrop, rose petals strewn about a wrought iron table, and the model styled with a beret (and occasionally clutching a book of poetry), it was no surprise when designer Stacey Bendet revealed her inspiration was the tried-and-true Parisian gamine. Bendet explained pre-fall was about "a return to the pants," and there were plenty here that spoke to the label's playful boldness. A pair of red pebbled leather stovepipes will surely turn heads when paired with a tartan fringed blanket cape boasting a detachable fur collar. Flares popped up in navy velvet and floral corduroy and hit on the seventies trouser silhouette that's been popular for the past year or so, but came across as a tad too retro. Bendet got the modern-vintage equation right with her graphic sweater dresses. The designer frequently stresses how her clothes are "a collection of items to mix and match every which way. It really comes down to the way you style it." Pieces like the relatively simple, burnt orange silk shirtdress (not a hint of gamine there sans beret) look versatile enough to be integrated into most women's wardrobes.