The Clothes: For Spring 2013, Chris Benz took interest in the intersection of beautiful and ugly. That idea can be a very scary, Tim Burton gray area, but with a sense for color and print like Chris Benz has, the results were perfectly quirky. Two looks featured gray lace dresses worn over pants; another look matched a bright marigold printed blazer with a vibrant green and orange pencil skirt–an eye-popping take on a traditional cut. There was a boxy cream jacket with coral pants, a full black and brown skirt with a neon pink print blouse, and an oversize white sweater worn over a silk and chiffon light rose dress. The point here is that there is a piece for everyone in the collection, a statement to Benz’s ability to create variations on a theme that can be mixed and matched in endless combinations. Topping off the looks were t-strap shoes by Alejandro Ingelmo and tiny Cambridge Satchels with white paneled fronts and detachable straps, created in collaboration with Benz.
The Hair & Makeup: The hair was half-up-half-down, with the front pieces crimped and the “up” part in a knot atop the models’ heads. There were also some small braids behind the ears, and more crimping in the back. As for makeup it was a pink, English rose style face with round, blushy cheeks that bled into a pink frame around the eyes.
The Soundtrack: Beetlejuice theme song and Bjork.
The Vibe: Celebrity spotting competition meets cocktail party.
The Front Row: Joan and Melissa Rivers, Susan Sarandon and her two dogs, Paula Abdul, Kelly Osbourne, Hailee Steinfeld, Alison Pill, Anna Chlumsky, Sia, Vanessa Williams
Celebrity We’d Most Like to See Wearing this Collection: Kara Hayward
WTF Moment: Paula Abdul showing up with 2-4 giant sized bodyguards with black sunglasses that followed her around like glue.
What the Designer Said: “Overall the feel for the season is this push and pull between scary and pretty, in terms of the hair and makeup and the prints and the silhouettes. It’s a madcap mix of old lace over a shocking color and really garish prints mixed with really beautiful prints. I did love the idea of a wood nymph type character, which as been bubbling up during my time spent working in Japan. … I especially love the turquoise look. It’s sort of an industrial fabric in a really beautiful color, and it’s layered in a weird way, and it’s belted, and it’s kind of wrinkled––it has all the elements of American sportswear that I love.”
Actress Alison Pill’s Take: “I am his friend. Chris Benz is the most divine human being, and I knew him as a friend before I knew him as a fashion designer, turns out he’s great at both. … My favorite color is yellow and there was a lot of yellow, so I’m happy.”
Actress Anna Chlumsky’s Take: “I’m a fangirl. I’ve been a fan of Chris for a long time but this is the first time I got to meet him, so I’m giddy. He is knowledgable and historical without being confined to reference. That’s how I put it before.”