Alice + Olivia and CFDA collaborate on a Basquiat-influenced capsule collection, and the fashion world turns out for a celebration like no other.
Stacey Bendet, the mastermind behind the celebrated Alice + Olivia fashion line seems to know how to make magic happen. Her theatrical tendencies and design taste that gently kisses ‘over-the-top’ has left the brand with passionate supporters, with everyone from Wall Street executives to style-motivated socialites and supermodels in the brand’s wares. With the latest collaboration between CFDA and Alice + Olivia, the brand will bring a new demographic under its wing: the art lover.
A+O, in conjunction with CFDA, gained access the entire Jean-Michel Basquiat art archive to produce a capsule collection based on his wide-reaching artistic talents. Back when the news broke this summer, we imagined Stacey having a field day with his works. Sure enough, at The Hole gallery, not far from Basquiat’s original stomping grounds, A+O put on a show that was the classic mix of fun and sophisticated. No runway needed, The room was drenched in sparkles and balloons and streamers, bubbles were flying and being poured as guests made their way around the presentations of “Basquiat” interpreted in a myriad of ways.
Ballooning gowns, color-palette inspired dresses, hues of orange and red, stripes and prints… the list goes on. Bags and accessories, we predict, will take the cake as most desirable. Perhaps these clothes are best described as extensions of personalities, totally appropriate for the guests attending, which included Logan Horne and Jeannette Hayes. Check it out: Nicky Hilton came by in a dress shirt under an elegant short sweater, with the Basquiat signature crown drawing emblazoned on it, which felt like the perfect preppy answer for the newest Rothschild. Stacey herself, doe-eyed and button nosed, swept around the room in a floor length sleeveless gown with prints of Basquiat’s more intense works all over. Chelsea Leyland rocked a coat with inky drawings by a mid-career Basquiat.
Everyone was clearly basking in the Basquiat love, striking poses all around the room, including inside a 360-degree photo booth. Friends snapped photos with Basquiat prints lining the walls… and the floor… and the ceiling. What might have at first seemed a classic wine-and-cheese exhibition opening developed into a fashionable art happening of sorts (Yoko Ono would be proud) complete with live art installation, and a blacklight room glowing bright with a wicked chic graffiti wall so guests such as Chelsea Leyland could play out their Basquiat-fueled fantasies and plenty of chatting and dancing.
High-art favorites The Dolls (Mia Moretti and Margot) were responsible for spinning a suitably stylish set as guests enjoyed unique drinks such as an alcohol-infused Black Tap milkshakes, Svedka Vodka, Ruffino Sparkling Rose and Ruffino Prosecco complete with cupcakes and snacks. Guests included Leo DiCaprio’s girlfriend Nina Agdal (no Leo in sight, regrettably), Victoria Justice of Disney Channel, Pierce Brosnan even Princess Beatrice made an appearance to flex her arts and style muscle.
The clothes will be available at Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus and all Alice and Olivia retail shops, with prices ranging from $150 for smaller accessories and into the thousands for dresses and gowns. Proceeds will go in part to charity organization.[slideshow]
Visit aliceandolivia.com to shop the Basquiat X A+O collection.
Photo Credit: BFA, SAM DEITCH