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Alice + Olivia: Old World Glamour, Celebs and... Stripping?

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In the past, Alice + Olivia presentations were held in downtown digs with rock and roll vibes, but the label has moved on up. They hosted their Valentine's Day presentation in a venue which was about as uptown as anyone could possibly find—The Plaza Hotel.

This was not your typical fashion week presentation. From the moment we entered, we were caught up in the swirl of a glamorous party, straight out of Boardwalk Empire —albeit of a later era. As standards played, models layered in stunning tweed, fur, knit and beaded designs posed. Many sipped champagne while standing on platforms and tables throughout the room. We feared that no good could come from models drinking champagne—on what we can only guess were empty stomachs—while perched on tables, but surprisingly, no one toppled.

After admiring the beautiful collection, most of which looked like it could easily be part of a much higher-priced line, we discovered other entertainment. We joined Vanessa Hudgens, Brittany Snow, Kelly Rutherford, Kelly Bensimon, Abby Elliot, Johnny Weir, Sarah Hughes, Michael Chiklis and the Australian band The Veronicas to watch one model dance an actual burlesque striptease from her post. Then another model, who'd been posing at a baby grand piano all evening, actually started playing it.

While most designers would starve their guests before they'd let them bring food within a mile of their designs, Alice + Olivia's Stacey Bendet obviously felt that no real party would be complete without refreshments. She and her company were generous hosts, serving copious amounts of Valentine's Day cupcakes, chocolate Godiva hearts and Eleni's cookie hearts—all accompanied by champagne and cocktails. Perhaps the food was partially provided in case the designer herself wanted to partake, since Stacey is a glowing eight months pregnant.
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· Alice + Olivia {Official Site]