Alice + Olivia’s Stacey Bendet On Party Dressing, Minis, & Taylor Swift

What is it about this time of year that our calendars seem to be filling up with more and more events with each passing week? And far be it from us to throw on the same old dresses we’ve been wearing all summer — the cooler weather calls for an updated look for after hours, and who better to talk to about dressing up this season than the queen of the cocktail frock herself, Stacey Bendet.

Alice + Olivia is Bendet’s 10-year-old label and a perennial go-to when we’re looking for a little extra glitz, glamour, or vintage flair. For fall, the designer had two words of advice when we spoke on the phone last week for anyone looking to up their style quotient for an evening out: “Lace and leather.” Capiche? “I always like things that have a bit of a sexiness to them. I’m not an all black kind of girl, I do like a little color, but I think the mixing of textures is something that always interests me when I dress up.” And since we’re always on board with sequins (no, really: always), we’d pair the aforementioned lace and leather with one of the miniskirts Bendet designed in partnership with Magnum ice cream bars. The tiered “Classic” version with a lace tank and the fringed “Almond” number with a simple leather tee.

And since it is fall, after all, outerwear is a must. “I kind of like to mix it up depending on what my outfit is,” mused the designer. “We did this great faux fur leopard coat that’s a little bit retro, or sometimes I like to do something a little more glam with leather leggings and a tank top during the day.” As for your leg look, Bendet is on board with patterned tights in leopard, stripes, and zig-zags, and a good pair of over-the-knee suede boots.

We’ll take heed — after all, this is a woman whose brethren on this year’s Vanity Fair‘s International Best-Dressed List include Kate Middleton, Diane Kruger, and Bill Cunningham. And by the sounds of things, she has an idea of another name that should join her a few years down the road: Taylor Swift, who she dressed just last week in a chic white frock for the BBC Radio 1 Awards:

She’s such a feminine, beautiful woman. She will be an icon of our time, so I feel like dressing her is such a special moment. It’s hard to tell in pictures but [the BBC dress] this beautiful foil metallic. I dance around to her music with my daughters. They’re big fans.

So are we.

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