We know, we know: FW is just around the corner and next year’s spring and summer styles are already popping up around the city in pre-Labor Day presentations—and who can think about fall fashion anyway when the AC’s still blasting?—but August is the perfect time to brush up on what’s hitting the racks now and peek back at February’s runway trends before you start updating this Fall.
For a punchy lineup with a little bit of everything, check out fan-favorite alice + olivia. Designer and hipster-chic guru Stacey Bendet rarely plays it safe—her characteristically whimsical, go-big-or-go-home creations tend toward the wilder side of RTW—but she did tone it down in this season’s admittedly safer collection. It might not impress Stacey’s feverishly loyal followers, but the heavily-diversified line does offer a comfortable balance overall for slightly less courageous dressers: Picture a little less Betsey Johnson, but still flirtier than Sass and Bide.
The tamed silhouettes are a bit uninspired (Bendet’s signature pant only makes one token appearance, punctuating an otherwise straightforward run of classic dress and skirt cuts), but they’re also approachable and easy to wear. And while the mostly black-and-white collection represents a departure from Bendet’s typically vibrant style, textural detailing and bold shots of color—2012’s electric oranges, strawberry reds and coral pinks are all here, plus shimmering emerald green and golden yellow for Fall—provide just enough oomph to earn our approval.