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Alice + Olivia Spring 2017 - Runway Review

After past collections that ran the gamut from The Grateful Dead to Basquiat to Eighties craze, Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet hit reset for spring. “I wanted a breath of fresh air,” she said.

Having traveled to Rome, Bendet said she was enamored by the Bomarzo gardens—jam packed with frightening sculptures dating to the 16th century and bountiful flowers. Turning the magic of that experience into a fashion show, Bendet created an elaborate setting that followed the story of two little girls stumbling upon a pile of tarot cards in a vintage book store, and each card taking them to a different area of Bomarzo.

That strong Roman theme came through romantically in a multitude of ways: as was expected, the collection was rich with lush beading and feminine frills. Bendet has never met a texture she didn’t love: floral-embroidered lace; ribbon trim; ruffles galore and oversized flowers were all lovingly represented.

The bohemian romantic vibe resonated in ponchos with large flowers, billowing maxi dresses, embroidered skirts with fringe details and sheer chiffon blouses with voluminous sleeves. For those more sportswear oriented, there was also a terrific lineup of denim—including a pair of flared jeans hand embroidered with, you guessed it, florals.