I said this to Steff as we left the Chris Benz studio after his Resort 2011 preview: The reason I like Chris' clothes so much is because they look like him. There's no borrowing from others, something many designers rely on a bit too heavily these days. What's more, "his sense of color is incredible," Steff went on to say.
And we're not just waxing on because Chris is part of the Fashionista family. This collection is seriously, seriously good.
"Who actually wants a physical lookbook these days?" Chris Benz asks as he hands me a rubber band with a USB chip attached at the end. Not I, especially not when I'm looking at these candy clothes close-up, in all their splendor, at the designer's studio on 37th Street. "We were inspired by Bermuda--or rather, the idea of Bermuda," Benz tells me. Indeed, there are bermuda shorts, nubbly twills, even a few chambray pieces, all made for the lady on holiday who doesn't take dressing up--or herself--too seriously. It's all about having fun, from the painterly leopard print to the Alejandro Ingelmo x Chris Benz sneakers in pretty patterns to the label's bright collaboration with jewelry brand The Woods. (There are even a couple of swimsuits--a first for the designer.) But what I loved most about Benz's take on Resort 2012 was his ability to let go. Despite New York's current penchant for acid green, the King of Color has moved on, incorporating even fresher-looking mustard, tangerine, and periwinkle.
**All photos courtesy of Chris Benz.