Celebrating Alice + Olivia
By Lesley McKenzie
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Attendees enjoyed a delicious meal outside and under heat lamps at the Malibu Lumber Yard; Guest dined at candelit tables; Platter of fresh sushi (BELOW); Denise Richards and Mena Suvari; Vivica A. Fox;Camille Guaty; David Charvet and Brooke Burke; Katie Maco,Lindsey Steede and Anne Riley-Katz; Designer Stacey Bendet (LEFT) and Maria Menounos
What: An evening of shopping, cocktails and dinner celebrating Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet’s fall line
Where: Alice + Olivia boutique, Malibu Lumber Yard
When: August 2009
Who: Hosted by Stacey Bendet, Jessica Meisels, Stella Stolper, Naomi Bulochnikov and Tracy Brennan; invitees included Denise Richards, Brooke Burke, David Charvet, Devon Aoki, Jessica Paster, Maria Menounos, Liane and Richard Weintraub, Linda Thompson, Jay Penske, Mena Suvari and Laura Wasserman
Style and substance reigned supreme when a handpicked group of fashionistas gathered for an evening of shopping and dining under the stars to fête Alice + Olivia’s fall collection at the tony Malibu Lumber Yard. With a guest list hotter than the line’s new slinky sequined tank, the party was hosted by designer Stacey Bendet, who welcomed everyone from the cream of LA society to friends both old and new. “I just love throwing dinner parties,” said Bendet of the soirée. “We throw them in New York all the time, but I thought it would be fun to do one in LA.”
As guests made their way into the Lumber Yard’s open-air courtyard on an unusually chilly night in Malibu, they were greeted with aptly named colorful cocktails—the Fashiontini (vodka and Grand Marnier with freshly squeezed bloodorange juice) and the Malibu Alice (Red Bull, rum and pineapple juice).
Drinks in hand, attendees made a beeline for the Alice + Olivia boutique to greet Bendet and check out her muchanticipated fall collection. A marriage of sophistication and edge, the latest pieces range from tailored dresses and chiffon blouses to snakeskin-leather leggings and chain-embellished tees. “Fall definitely has a rock-chic theme,” said Bendet, whose line has earned a devoted following since its inception in 2002. “It’s part rocker girl, part girl floating through Paris.”
“I’m obsessed!” said Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounous, as she fawned over the racks with stylist Lindsay Albanese. “Stacey has her finger on the pulse of what everyone wants.”
As evening descended, guests found their seats at three long dinner tables set with twinkling candles and bouquets of white flowers and then filled their plates at the decadent buffet—complete with sushi, pasta and a variety of salads. Inevitably, the evening’s discussion turned to fashion, particularly for Mena Suvari, who asked longtime friend Bendet to design a wedding dress for her upcoming marriage to music producer Simone Sestito. “We’re at the beginning of the process right now,” said Suvari on the status of her gown. “I’ve been collecting tear sheets and meeting with Stacey whenever she’s been in LA and e-mailing her when she’s not.”
As dinner drew to a close, invitees indulged in the Ben & Jerry’s sundae bar despite the crisp temperature. When the ice cream bowls were empty and the hour started getting late, one by one the guests wandered off into the evening with their shopping bags in tow, just as a misty Malibu rain began to fall.
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.