Alice + Olivia Spring 2018

The line to get into Alice + Olivia’s show was so hectic, a bystander who knew nothing about fashion would walk by and think they were giving away free money in there. But, alas, there was no free cash; however, but was a spring 2018 collection rich in patterns, bold statements, femininity, and style.

Stacey Bendet, the creative brain behind Alice + Olivia, was inspired by the Chelsea Hotel and all its iconic rock n’ roll history for this spring 2018 outing. Bendet attempted to create a collection that projected what the Chelsea Hotel’s iconic female guests would wear now if they were still residents of the Chelsea Hotel. (Think Nancy of the tragic rock couple Sid and Nancy alive and updated.)Bendet’s friend, the artist Lola Schnabel, daughter of downtown iconic artist Julian Schnabel, lived in the Chelsea Hotel at one point. After some extensive research, Bendet invited eight other artists to design rooms for the presentation based on what their rooms would look like if they currently lived in the Chelsea Hotel.     

The collections was a unique blend an homage to the worlds of art and fashion The collection could be described as the late punk 1970s shares a bed with with a contemporary art.    

The collection featured beautiful, bold colors, but there were so many messages lying underneath gorgeous layers of fabric, some more blatant than others. Subtle statements were done in a kitschy way, such as a tee shirt in rainbow sequin letters that said “The World Needs More Sparkle.” Still, other messages were more blatant, such as a backdrop that had the word “FEMINIST” scribbled all over it as two models dressed in pure white perched against the backdrop.          

                                           Images courtesy of Alice + Olivia

A creative reinterpretation of a hotel turned into a story about women, the power of fashion and American cultural motifs. Here in Bendet’s world, women thrive and survive in bright, colorful prints, pussy bows, and ruffle-tiered dresses. Bendet’s talent should be most admired for her ability to bring together eight different artistic visions and create one cohesive collection with cultural and political messages.       In summary, the collection was a mix of rock ‘n roll, color explosion, modern feminism, and art. This cornucopia of boldness, vibrancy and design, all message driven leave a fashion audience wanting more.

—Kristopher Fraser

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