Literature and art are, once again, at the core of a ready-to-wear collection, with designer Stacey Bendet drawing inspiration from Salman Rushdie’s “The Enchantress of Florence” for her Alice + Olivia fall/winter 2017-18 rtw collection.
Like Joseph Altuzarra, who recently unveiled a runway show inspired by Shakespeare and the Northern Renaissance art during the current New York Fashion Week, Bendet got overwhelmed with the power of literature, too, after receiving a miniature version of Salman Rushdie’s “The Enchantress of Florence” from the author himself.
Literature aside, two are the other main topics that revolve around Rushdie’s novel, and which all together play an extremely important role in the latest Alice + Olivia fall/winter 2017-18 rtw collection. Divided into three parts, Rushdie’s “The Enchantress of Florence” narrates the visit of a European to the Mughal emperor Akbar’s court in Persia, where the young man claims to be a lost relative of the emperor, born to an Indian princess and an Italian man from Florence. Tuscany’s notorious capital, along with its history and renaissance art, is one of the book’s most evocative scenarios, with Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece of humanist thinking, “Primavera,” being one of the most inspiring.
Intricate embroideries and Middle East-inspired details are, thus, aplenty in the Alice + Olivia fall/winter 2017-18 rtw collection, with even parts of Botticelli’s masterpiece being printed on the skirts. Along with art, however, another message has been transposed from literature to fashion – empowerment.
“One of the themes running through the book is that a lost princess is creating her own destiny in a man’s world,” Stacey Bendet explained backstage, immediately remind us of all those designers who took empowerment and translated it to their seasonal collections, according to their own personal language and feelings.
Bendet’s take on empowering fashion was an extremely feminine and party-ready one, with most of the garments being filtered through a free-spirited Seventies-inspired lens. Between the many flared lines, bell sleeves, wrapped cuts and layered figures, all of the Alice + Olivia fall/winter 2017-18 rtw collection’s items were equally wearable and fancy, their airy figures being perfect to dance any night away.
Bendet’s visions about the autumnal season could be, in fact, overall described as optimistic, with the proposals being all about feeling at ease with oneself while having fun with girl squads.
Although being almost solely party-ready, the collection also features appealing proposals that could be worn on a daily basis, such as oversized coats, graphic tees and rather versatile palazzo pants that could easily transition from formal to informal events, depending on how we decide to style them. One-of-a-kind indeed, even the few Alice + Olivia fall 2017 collection’s daily items got inspired by Rushdie’s artistic notes, meaning that whoever is looking for a timeless staple to feel flawless in, even those who prefer more minimalist ensembles, will very likely get enchanted by this latest collection of Benet’s.
Photos courtesy of Zimbio