August 10, 2010 | 12:48 pm
Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet is forgoing the bedazzling, feathers and sequins when it comes to her new line called “Career.” The line launches this fall (and is hitting stores now), is for the work-minded lady who may still wear the sparkly, short mini dresses from the Alice +Olivia line at night or on the weekend, but now has job interviews or perhaps even a job to see to during daylight hours.
Career is pretty straightforward – black blazers, pencil skirts, boot-cut pants, white blouses and fitted LBDs, but still with that slightly sexy, frilly vibe Bendet’s designs are known for. There are various pant styles -- skinny, cropped, slight flare, which all come only in black. Blazer styles range from traditional and tailored to military-inspired -- again all in black.
“Well, I'm not exactly a suit-to-work girl, I'm more of a tutu-to-work girl, but I was watching the news one day and I thought being a successful woman doesn't require wearing a frumpy brown suit,” says Bendet (who recently made the 2010 Vanity’s Fair Best Dressed list). “I mean, who really wants to wear a frumpy brown suit? So the career line is conservative and chic and offers a little fashion and our signature fabulous fit for the working woman!”
During a recent visit to Bendet’s L.A. home (which is more of a showroom and event space for her brand than a West Coast pied-a-terre, but nonetheless a house in the hills I’d give my right arm to live in) she showed me the all black-and-white Career collection (which echoed the Oreo cookie-filled vases that lined a fireplace mantel) and looked so subdued compared to her fall and holiday lines, full of feathered skirts, striped mini dresses and jeweled jackets that hung next to it.
Looks like the Alice + Olivia girl is all grown up, and with prices in this collection ranging from $137 for a jersey layering tee to $396 for a structured blazer, hopefully she's able to afford these polished separates while working her way up and smashing through the glass ceiling.
-- Melissa Magsaysay
The Alice + Olivia Collection is in room 1010.