Images by Daniel Perry
Alice + Olivia’s Spring / Summer 2020 is a modern bohemian field of dreams. Across the collection, color block dressing is highlighted with dramatic new shapes anchored by strong pants, a nod to the trouser core of Alice + Olivia’s brand DNA. Voluminous sleeves, legs, and skirts imbue classic sportswear with couture presence, while engineered floral prints and finely embroidered details transport the imagination into the fashionably surreal.
At this season’s show at Root Studios, Designer Stacey Bendet’s fashion dreamscape unfolded in a series of nine transportive sets, each revealing a realm of the collection. In a field of lilac saturated flowers, a sky blooming with pink clouds, a minty pristine kitchen, and a bright buttercup pool, tailored and embroidered Spring/Summer looks seemed to have sprouted from their colorful surroundings. “When the colors are right in a space you exhale and tune into your own interior,” Bendet says, “I dream in color and these rooms are fashion dreams come to life.”
In each brightly hued world, colors converse in a sherbety palette. The combinations highlight the considered silhouettes and elevated constructions in this collection, which balance dramatic volume with day-to-day favorites. Bold moire silk sleeves, a sculptural bow cumberbund belt, pleated chiffon, and dramatic waterfall ruffles complement oversize blazers, clean tie around tees, cycle ready bike shorts and of course, perfect high waist trousers. Welcome to high feminine sport.
In modern bohemia, blouson sleeves are fit for lazing in the grass and powering through the city. The flower has new power: square neck cuts and tea-length skirts feel fresh with bright engineered paisley and cool sneakers.
SS20 also introduced an exclusive collaboration between Alice + Olivia and Murder Bravado designer Everard Best, a rising fashion star known for his singular style of hand-embroidered, dyed and distressed denim. Describing the union between the two brands as, “When Kanye West appeared on Katy Perry’s track E.T.,” Best, who has collaborated in the past with the likes of Virgil Abloh, Heron Preston, and Mr. Porter, sees the collaboration with Bendet as “an opportunity to work with one of the foremost American womenswear designers in the industry.”
In the midst of the show, Best and his design team were stationed in a laboratory vignette, a cascade of color descended around them as they artfully live-painted pieces for the Alice + Olivia collection, turning the canvas of Bendet’s denim range into a physical gallery of wearable works of art. The rainbow looks will sell with the collection in Alice + Olivia stores and retailers worldwide next Spring. “With this collaboration, we wanted to bring our vibe and our design DNA to Alice + Olivia. We applied our signature dying and distressing techniques then exaggerated the length to keep it super fun and over the top.” This spirit for over-the-top, playful artistry works seamlessly within Bendet’s vision for SS20. “There is a sense of newness and methodology to his designs that is incredibly exciting to me, and a mutual appreciation of color that translates beautifully into this, collaboration.”