Just in time for college finals and the end of the fall semester, Alice + Olivia decided to focus on a studious pre-fall collection. Stacey Bendet, designer for the brand, decided to create the Alice + Olivia pre-fall 2016 line with the idea of a “chic librarian or school girl studying at the library.” And, of course, we were treated to a line of clothes created for a fun, girly, sexy crowd.
The collection seemed to take inspiration from a mix between the ‘60s and ‘70s, bringing in some of the biggest trends we saw on the runways this past year. So it is clear the brand saw what worked well in the fashion industry, and decided to create an entire collection from it.
Bendet didn’t limit the clothes to just the trends that have made a major runway comeback, however, as some garments featured aspects like embroidered denim, which hasn’t had a great deal of stage time in the years past. In this way, the collection was a more inclusive peek into the past, and with the timeless styling and retro photoshoot, the pictures almost seemed more like a campaign than a pre-season release.
The retro looks with their sometimes not-so-trendy trends edged into territory, which is now commonly referred to as “grandma-chic,” a term recently used by Alessandro Michele of Gucci, and now by Bendet to describe parts of this new line. And with the throwback ‘60s and ‘70s flare, I’d say that term is rightly used.
It is interesting the youthful brand would choose to go in such a drastic direction, since the quirks may not sit well with A+O customers. There are certainly women jumping for joy with this collection’s release, but there are likely others still who are thrown off by the stylistic decisions made for this pre-season. Perhaps it is the head-to-toe styling or the setting of the photoshoot that makes the collection seem stuck in the past, but it is easy to pick out specific trends.
Embroidered denim made a comeback in the late ‘90s to early 2000s, and has more recently created a bit of a stir with DIY trends, but there hasn’t been much motion to see this trend come back into style, so it was an interesting aspect to see. It could be an allusion to Bendet’s heavy use of embroidery that was introduced in the spring 2016 collection, but the point of placement is certainly a cause for pause.
There wasn’t a distinct focus on this trend, however, which thankfully allowed for more room to add in some truly stunning pieces, like the floor length gowns and flirty party dresses. These pieces had the wow factor you would expect going into an A+O showing, and of course they employed light fabrics that will help customers wear their new clothes through the transition between summer and fall.
The sheer fabrics and light color palette has you almost feeling the distinct breeze of summer, giving the perfect glimpse into what your future could be like wearing these flowing dresses.