Alice + Olivia’s Fall 2017 collection is inspired by Salman Rushdie’s novel The Enchantress of Florence. The collection draws from the vibrant rich settings of Mughal India and the romanticism of Renaissance Florence, depicting the story of a woman creating her own destiny in a man’s world. Stacey Bendet has created a rich wardrobe for the global woman, a woman, who like Rushdie’s enchantress, has “forged her own life, beyond convention, by the force of her will alone”. Comprised of an eclectic mix of pieces and a sharp color palette of reds, pinks, and jewel tones, Bendet has created a serene fantasy with notes of magic realism for this collection.
In Rushdie’s novel, as in Bendet’s collection, characters are brought to life through painted stories. The enchantress print features a representation of Rushdie’s Lady Black Eyes but with an a+o twist of #staceface wearing her signature large black shades. Intricate gold metallic beading evokes images of Rushdie’s Akbar Empire, while a leather skirt in Botticelli’s Primavera painting is representative of Renaissance Florence. Live at the a+o show, body painting artist, Trina Merry, brings the enchantress to life using the human body as a canvas.
The collection juxtaposes feminine pieces like lace tops with dramatic bell sleeves, sequin and silk slip dresses, and ruffle skirts with utilitarian separates such as patent leather bombers, camo pants, boxy jackets, camo jackets, and cargo pants. The A+O girl will mix and match these statement pieces, pairing sequin pantsuits with statement tees, embellished floral tops with patent leather skirts and combat boots, sequin embellished mini-skirts with leather varsity jackets, and lace-up thigh-highs and embellished cigarette jeans with tweed jackets with pearl detailing. Each look embodying a woman who is both fierce and feminine.
Accessories further the urban glamour aesthetic through unexpected features. Handbags are a mix of faux fur totes, intricate foiled printed leather clutches, and black patent leather cross-bodies in modern shapes. Shoes have a sexy edge featuring combat boots with heavy hardware accents in plush fabrics, lace-up thigh-highs, and patent leather booties.