09/11/2012 09:21 EDT | Updated 11/11/2012 05:12 EST

Alice and Olivia's Stacey Bendet sees spring with rose-colored glasses

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Stacey Bendet, founder and designer of Alice and Olivia, predicts a breath of fresh air this spring.

No gloom and doom for her. The styles she offered up for next season at a preview Monday at New York Fashion Week were unabashedly happy, colorful and made to put a smile on the wearer's face — no questions asked.

"I started with the whole concept of going back to the American dream," Bendet said. "I wanted a return to optimism and feeling good."

Basically, Bendet was looking for an excuse to have a party. Where else would one wear a sparkly red-and-white squiggle-pattern bustier and flared miniskirt, or a silver halter dress with an open back and full skirt?

She mined the 1950s and its feminine silhouettes and bright colours for inspiration, so the collection has its share of swinging hemlines and bustiers. There were updates, though, including digital floral prints and a peach leather motocross jacket.

Bendet said she arranged the presentation in a Chelsea gallery space to feature vignettes centring on doors in primary colours. "I had the thought that when one door shuts, another one opens."