Alice + Olivia
September 13, 2010 New York
Spring is another candy-coated outing, this one loosely inspired by the look of the seventies. Bendet said she was conjuring a boho vibe, and the collection had the high waists and handkerchief hems to prove it. Really, though, the inspiration was more generally retro, feasting on mod motifs such as Peter Pan collars, A-lines, and graphic prints, and reaching back to Mad Men times in pieces like a full-skirted floral frock and a slinky pencil dress with a leather peplum. And then there were items whose only excuse was fun-ness, such as a short poufy skirt covered with feathers.
Needless to say, Celine fans and Helmut nuts are not the intended audience here. And clearly, there's a healthy appetite for these kinds of pieces: Bendet comes off a little kooky, and she caters to a girl who perceives herself that way, but the designer can spot a market in a heartbeat. (Witness her new line of shoes: about 25 pairs of flats, heels, platforms, and boots, many executed in eye-stabbing prints and all priced to sell. "I wanted to make party shoes," Bendet explains. "Super-fun, and not so expensive that a girl feels like she can only buy one pair, in black.") Not that the Alice + Olivia girl would ever contemplate a purchase in such a basic shade.