From the looks of their last two presentations, the folks at Alice & Olivia prefer to take a lighter approach to Fashion Week. In September it was a black and yellow tea party for an Alice in Wonderland motif, and this time around Stacey Bendet's label created not one but four distinct bedroom scenes to highlight the fall 2008 collection shown at its Bryant Park boutique. While it might not have been as tongue-in-cheek as the Jack Spade Fashion Week stunts, it was certainly an effective and stylish way to provide editors and buyers a change of pace to the shows. Plus it doesn't hurt to have friends like Gilberto Santana, the visual director for Henri Bendel, helping out with the design.
Taking up much of the floor space in the small store, the four diorama-like displays each had a specific theme centered around different personalities: uptown girl, modern woman, downtown girl, and '70s diva. Thus each bedroom set was filled with decorations and furnishings that matched the individual, including piles of second-hand books, an unmade bed, and a chandelier draped with colorful ribbons for “downtown” and a pink-wallpapered vignette furnished with a mock fireplace and a four-poster bed to represent “uptown.”
Adding to the experience, which felt a little like window shopping, was the allure of food. Caterwaiters passed baked goods such as mini bagels, pain au chocolat, and muffins from silver trays. To wash it down, more servers passed flutes of champagne, orange juice, bellinis, and water, along with bottles of Activate vitamin water.
Eliza Dushku, Julia Stiles, and Nicky Hilton were among the editors, buyers, and friends of Bendet who attended.