Hi Everyone! I recently had the honor of walking for Alice + Olivia, and I wanted to share this lovely experience with you. Designed by Stacey Bendet, the brand Alice + Olivia, also referenced as A+O, is named in honor of Ms. Bendet's mother, Olivia, and her prior business partner's mother, Alice. The tribute to these mothers honors their love of everything "vintage" and the creativity these women imparted to their daughters through their shared love of thrifting, flea marketing, and the hunt for unusual treasures. Through these shopping excursions, Ms. Bendet became inspired to create the high fashion garments seen on runways today, and seen in over 800 stores across the United States and abroad. The designs can be worn in settings from casual luncheons, to the most dramatic formal events. This season's collection features bold red fabrics dotted with gold animal print "kisses" to asian inspired gowns and bomber jackets. These outfits would not be complete with out the accent of a cool pair of shades, that even Jackie O would have been glad to be spotted in.
In the spirit of Ms. Bendet's charitable spirit, the runway event partnered with Mack Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M), the joint fundraising effort of Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, ACM Award-winning recording artist, Jack Ingram, and ESPN analyst and Texas coaching legend Mack Brown. This high profile philanthropic team paired with the Just Keep Livin Foundation which was started by Camila and Matthew McConaughey with the purpose of giving high school age students the opportunities they need to make healthy life choices, and to create empowered individuals. Being a part of this project for such an important cause left the entire cast of participants feeling great to be involved, and honored at the same time to be showcasing the "face" of Alice and Olivia.
The set for the show was positively vibrant featuring a polished bright yellow lucite floor and a backdrop of bold impressionistic images of figures presumably wearing Alice and Olivia. The flow of the show presented flawlessly owing to the positive collaboration between the A+O team working with leaders from Neiman Marcus and Campbell-Wagner Runway. The fashion reflected the beauty, innovation, timelessness, and uniqueness that make Alice and Olivia the sought after brand that it is today.
BEHIND THE SCENES....The show was hosted at the JW Marriott in Downtown Austin. I made the drive down to Austin the day before the show for fittings. Upon entering the room where the fittings would take place, I was so excited at the sight of the gorgeous racks of A+O clothing! I felt like a "kid in a candy shop" being in that room with the clothing. I left the fittings feeling excited, in love with all my looks, and ready for the show!
The next morning, bright and early, prep for the show began. The entire Neiman Marcus and A+O team worked tirelessly to ensure that all the looks were spot on, and stunning. The hair and makeup look was a bold red lip, bold brow, a simple face, and beachy, textured, loose waves.
When it came time for first looks, all the models headed back stage. The event had begun, and we were all ready in our first looks. Stacey Bendet, the designer of Alice and Olivia, was backstage making final tweaks, and ensuring all was perfect and ready.
Alice and Olivia is a brand I really admire and identify with. The flirty, whimsical, and unique designs are sure to turn heads. The line ranges from the coolest sunglasses you ever did see, to gorgeous dresses, to even the most unique and cool jeans that are sure to make you feel like "a million bucks"!!! Ms. Bendet's designs all have a vintage vibe, with bold colors, florals, or patterns. Her clothing truly gives a women plenty of options for any occasion!
The show was over in the blink of an eye! The Alice and Olivia runway show was fun, upbeat, and beyond stunning. I am so thankful to work with such amazing people in this industry, to walk for such unique designers, and support amazing foundations like Mack Jack & McConaughey and Just Keep Livin. If you would like to donate to the Just Keep Livin Foundation to make a big difference in teens lives, please follow this link: https://www.jklivinfoundation.org/giving/make-a-donation/