Alice And Olivia Take Two: The Ball Gown Edition

Update: Now up to 80% off.

Stacey Bendet’s brainchild, Alice + Olivia is known for always hosting bi-annual sample sales in June and December. Usually held at 260 Fifth Avenue, the sales are famous for their abundance of highly discounted samples and a large selection of accessibly priced overstock. So color me surprised when I received an email announcing a second winter sale (just a mere month after their last one) although this time the event is to take place at Century 21’s Edition venue. Advertised as an evening wear sale with focus on ball gowns I could already anticipate the inevitable price increases.

One of the things I (and I’m sure you guys are with me on this one) always loved about Alice + Olivia sample sales were of course true samples. Usually priced in the $49-$99 range, these prices are practically unbeatable. So the biggest question for me was whether this week’s sale would have samples. To answer this question as well as snoop out any potential mega deals, I attended last evening’s press preview portion of the sale. The sample sale officially opens to the public Tuesday morning and runs through the end of the work week.

Alas, I’m sad to report that there were no samples. The discounts ranged from 65% to 70% off retail which was actually slightly higher than 260’s stock prices. As advertised the event is heavy on evening wear and floor length ball gowns (if you’re petite like me….be ready to fork over additional $$ on hemming). The sale takes up the entire ground floor of C21 Edition venue with majority of the gowns spread out throughout the racks to the left of the entrance. Sizes range from 0 to 10 with smaller sizes offering the most variety. Many of the items came from the Spring ’15 RTW collection. Expects to find signature beaded dresses and jackets, embellished with sequins, feathers, and lace. Among the styles I saw were Floral Brocades, embellished gowns like Marnee and Marlee, and much more.

Evening gowns 65%-70% off 
Strapless gowns $448 (retail $1,496) 
Many gowns still in plastic wraps
Spring ’15 dresses $300+
Silk brocade skirts $269 (retail $898) 
Jewel embellished skirt and top sets

Evening bags and clutches can be found inside glass display cases and lining nearby shelves. Discounted at only 65% off original retail, prices ranged from $70-$210 (more expensive than 260 in case anyone’s wondering). There were sparkly beaded clutches like Stripe Be Beaded $208 (originally $595) and smaller pouches like MartiniElephant and Fan $69 (originally $198). Among the accessories I also saw leather belts with a bow detail $28 (originally $80) and colorful fur collars $138 (originally $395). As I perused the racks I chatted with one of Alice + Olivia employees who was on hand to offer styling advice to shoppers as well as answer any questions. She explained to me that this is the first time their company is holding a sample sale dedicated specifically to evening gowns. While there are indeed some left overs from the December sample sale, the bulk of the merchandise are all brand new gowns in pristine condition (many were still covered in plastic). To the right of the entrance you can find more floor length skirts with matching crop tops and beaded jackets. Several of the jackets were repeats from December. There was also one small rack with fur vests and cropped fur jackets. The middle racks also held some of the more exciting beaded short cocktail and mini dresses. I was especially drawn to this Multicolor Bead Embellished dress for $314 (originally $898) and the Jania Embellished dress. Overall I found the prices to be much too high for a sample sale. Call me old fashioned but I like my sample sales to….you know…..offer actual samples
Beaded clutch
Small pouches including Martini $69 (retail $198)
Clutches $69-$210
Be Beaded stripe clutches $210
Season appropriate clutches and wristlets
How cute is this Fur Muff wristlet bag! $138 (retail $395)
Belts $28 (retail $80)
Fur Collars $138 (retail $395)
Fur and leather combo jacket $489 (retail $1,397)
Limited selection of fur vests and jackets

Embellished bomber jacket
Beaded jacket $349 (retail $998)
Embellished tunic
Jania Embellished dress $418 (originally $1,196)
Multicolor Bead Embellished dress $314 (originally $898) 
Hopefully the discounts will be much higher come Friday
BOTTOM LINE: As it stands this sale is most suited for tall ladies in search of a last minute dress for wedding or black tie affair. The rest of us will be better served holding out for potential discounts towards the end of the sale.

Century 21 Edition
21 Dey St (between Broadway and Church St.)
Tuesday – Thursday  8am – 9pm
Friday  8am – 6pm

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