Which is why I was thrilled that Stacey Bendet once again chose “Passport to Wonderland” as a travel themed voyage through her whimsical fashions for New York Fashion Week (NYFW). From her previous scenography and set designs, it was evident that this was going to be yet another sensorial travelogue. The stage was set with her favorite destinations, thematically fitting all the portions of the designs. Aptly blending in with my own pick of favorite hotspots.
With a splash of Parisian flair and the opera and Moulin Rouge as backdrops, the maximalist creations of skirts with handkerchief paintings gave way to spunkily colored jumpsuits and sweatpants, paired with heels and studded with sequins. The prints were highly floral, and the Notre Dame style gypsy cuts in the skirts and dresses were ethereal.
Provence was florally blue, an epic monochromatic theme that gave way to imaginative prints and textures in a pristine bedroom environment. From fluffy skirts with poodle silk blouses to pleated dresses and skirts in detailed florals, the belts, blazers and bowtie accessories made this an homage to romantic maximalism.
Having visited Positano for the first time recently, it’s colorful cuboid homes balanced on edgy cliffs on an oceanfront were transposed onto dresses with ruffles aplenty. Signature contrasting block print colors were on asymmetric ruffles on dresses, with beadwork making a cameo on monochrome collars and pocket linings.
Ornate was the only way to describe the lusciousness of her Marrakech interpretations. Textured print-on-print dresses were set in a bedroom parlor of Morocco, with geometric stripes barely visible under the heavy embroidery and embelishments that matched the clandestines and carpets of the stunning backdrop.
With a heritage of color from Mexico, the blooming florals gave way to my favorite color red in a monochromatic trio of pieces: a beaded blouse, pantalons and gypsy style chiffon blouses with loose trousers. The florals were more pronounced in blooming, chunky wild roses, with a recurrent theme of loose-fit trousers or flared dresses for yet another appeal to maximalism.
With a signature cat on a lavender backdrop, Tokyo comprised of her signature beadwork on dresses, blazers and loose chiffons, almost entirely in pastels, bleeding slowly into chunky prints on flowing fabrics.
While not quite the quirky Alice’s Wonderland, this one was dominated simply by three colors: yellow, black and white. Complete with a neon sign, the looks comprised of yellow tulle gowns and dresses, with heavily sequined and embroidered black dresses with shawl cardigan, a jail pinstripe suit, neon yellow denim and croptops, and simply cut black and white dresses. Perhaps wonderland was going through its neon era upgrade too?
Where to next?