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Stacey Bendet has come a long way from pants. Last night, the Alice + Olivia designer kicked off Coachella season (less than 24 hours to go!) with her see-now-buy-now spring runway show at Hollywood's Neuehouse, where she officially debuted her Grateful Dead collab.
From a wide-striped ballgown paired with a patched denim jacket to a beaded fringe tee featuring the legendary jam band's signature dancing bear, Bendet clearly worked her kaleidoscopic magic on the usual boho festival uniform (chokers! bandanas! hats by LA's Gladys Tamez!) On top of a starry front row with Emrata, Kourtney Kardashian, and Mischa Barton, the scenery featured a whimsical rock-and-roll gypsy lounge set to the sounds of Bob Dylan, Donovan, Arethra Franklin, and more vintage tracks.
See a few key looks and more from the fest-inspired fête in the gallery above, shop everything from last night's Facebook Live-streamed show here and here (select items are also available at Neiman Marcus Bev Hills), and read on below to find out why Bendet chose LA for her show, the Dead song that's on her yoga playlist, and more.
Do you have a favorite festival memory?
One of my favorite Alice + Olivia festival moments is five years ago [when] we did a makeover tour. We renovated a vintage Airstream and took it all over the Southwest and went to Bonnaroo. It was this rainbow Airstream,
What's your festival style?
I love a Jane Birkin vibe—bell bottoms, shaggy hair, but a little more princess-y.
What inspired you to collab with the Grateful Dead?
My husband [Eric Eisner] was doing this documentary [with Martin Scorcese] on them, and in our world you're listening to the music and it just sort of takes over. I'm really influenced and inspired by things around me and watching him work on this film for so long, I was like, "I'm gonna do something the Dead."
You're an expert yogi—is there a Dead song that's on your yoga playlist?
I love Scarlet Begonias, one of my daughters is named Scarlet.
Although you're from New York, you decided to stage the show in LA instead. Why?
We wanted it to be like a festival kickoff and the whole vibe of the collection is really festival-inspired. The Grateful Dead are from California so [that's why] we wanted to do it here.
Do you have a festival spirit animal?
Either a dancing bear or a unicorn.