Saturday, June 19, 2010

*Chris Benz Resort 2011*

Well, all I can say after looking at Chris Benz's collection is that I couldn't help thinking that Oscar and Carolina could do with a little sojourn at Clinique La Prairie in Clarens-Montreux, Switzerland for their world renowned Embryonic Cell Therapy. In short , the therapy gives one a renewed youth or something that resembles a renewal. Benz also looks like the rightful recipient of the Swarovski Womenswear Award that went to Jason Wu. To take it a step further, Chris Benz is the designer that people are mistaking Jason for. He's wonderful, sophisticated, and very talented with a rich imagination. Does he blaze new trails? Not exactly, but what he weeds, reseeds and fertilizes them so that they appear familiar, only immensely improved. What's even more impressive is that he's a young designer doing the work himself, not relying on over paid stylists or an army of assistants and creative director to do all of the lifting, let alone the heavy.

According to his inspiration the collection was an homage to Carmen Miranda and the ceramic artist Sascha Brastoff. One of the very graphic prints in the collection was attributed to Sascha. That's all fine and good but they were more points of departure for an imagination with little need for direction. His fabrics were very artisanal, looking like one thing but actually an amalgam of fibers to create a whole. Tweeds were really woven strands of silk organza and ribbon. Grass cloth which is a familiar fiber for home furnishing was also printed and cut. Duchesse satin was used for a few cocktail and ball skirt confections. What was so appealing was the balance he found with combining the rich with the humble, particularly a satin ball skirt paired with a fisherman knit cardigan. This sort of aesthetic is not new, but rarely is it pulled off with such unself-conscious panache. I'm curious to watch the arc of his career. He's got the knowledge and taste to really grow and develop his own special voice. Of so many young talents on the scene, his view is very assured and quiet. If Michelle Obama and Ikram were not driving while dozing, Chris would make them both look lots better than they do. Only time will tell. The Obama Bump is neither here nor there . He's perfectly capable of rising to the top on his own merits.


Anonymous said...

Now those are interesting clothes. Not keen on the brown flower prints, but the other pieces - and those lovely duchesse satin skirts with the interesting tops are great.

Especially like the return of the 60s skimmer with a good sleeve in the first photo on the left.

Mrs. Obama is just too big in certain areas - her huge shoulders, derriere and what has been mistaken for a baby bump. Ikram is a fireplug. Too stocky.

I like this designer.

Anonymous said...

There are some beautiful things in that collection. Also some weird-looking things (the blue and green fur-lined jacket and pants?) but it's rare that you like it all. He has a great eye for fabric, cut and silhouette, and he shows a great deal of maturity for being 3.

Oh fashion gods, anoint him!

Evelyn Esi said...

Gorgeous. These pieces make me want to put on my vintage satin, grab a nice side car, and head to my balcony to belt out my rendition of Night and Day. If my neighbours call the authorities I won't care, because I'll have visions of Chris Benzwear dancing like sugar plums in my head... All hail to the new age of Ladies Wear. I say Ladies because I'm a woman who want to dress like a woman, and not a girl...

hughman said...

these clothes are genius in that they actually evoke resort, belying a casual mix of what your closet might offer in st. tropez. nip in the night air? grab a cardigan to throw over your gown and maybe stroll barefoot down to the beach, heels in hand. they're relaxed and happy, the perfect recipe for a respite from the city.