Love List

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Behind Alice + Olivia

Alice + Olivia is one contemporary brand which I really love amongst the current labels contemporary lines we see today. It has just the right mix of quirkiness and fun, mixed with feminine elegance and sophistication, which really stands out for me amongst all the minimal/ slightly boheme designs usually seen for contemporary labels. Founded by Stacey Bendet, the brand represents the designer's slightly eclectic dressing preferences and her fun and carefree attitude.

Stacey started her brand based upon just a pair of retro pants which she made for herself, after those retro pants Mick Jagger wore in the 70s - cut low and tight at the hips with a exaggerated bell bottom flare. Her label was quickly picked up by Barney's and shortly after, Theory expressed interest and Alice + Olivia was born.

Stacey Bendet stuck to her own aesthetic - at first glance, the label is very girly and quirky, using primarily mod black and white and pops of red, as well as heavy use of lace, floral jacquard motifs and A line skirts and gowns. But upon closer examination, one can see the work in the cut and tailoring to elongate and enhance the feminine figure - be it a nipped in waist or bias cut jumpsuit pants.

Alice + Olivia FW14 ii Alice + Olivia FW14 i Alice + Olivia FW14 iii Alice + Olivia FW14 iv
The recent FW14 was based upon a mysterious Enchanted Wonderland, with Victorian details in the lace, detailing on collars and sleeves, and the use of fur and deep, rich colors bordering on royal decadence. The butterfly motifs are also particularly brought out the aspect of that inspiration. The collection appeals to every girl's inner fairy princess, while still remaining very wearable. Under Stacey's eye, dresses with high Victorian like collars embroidered with semiprecious stones and jewels looked both sexy and sophisticated, instead of overly dressy or pretentious.

In her own words, Stacey says "I just want dressing to be fun, feminine and fanciful and make women feel beautiful". And it's no wonder that she has a following of 371,000 followers on Instagram who actively follow her daily sartorial choices.

For a lady who can wear a tiara and ball gown to work, she makes it all look incredibly easy and effortless. I definitely stand by Stacey's belief that dressing up should really be fun and about self discovery - something that one can indulge in every morning.

You can visit the A+O boutique over at ION Orchard - it's a real treat I promise!

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