May 30, 2012 New York
Images of a sunglass-clad Marilyn Monroe and swatches of neon fabrics filled the mood board at Chris Benz's Garment District studio. He took his girl on a "tropical travel fantasy" for Resort, where every print coordinated with the others and nothing wrinkled. Tapping into a vacation mind-set, he lined almost every piece with power net mesh, so you could toss it over a still-wet bathing suit. And for the girl who can't be bothered to put an outfit together on her way from the beach to brunch, there was a white lightweight cashmere maxi dress. The collection's standout was a classic floral shirtdress cinched at the waist and shown open over pants of the same print. Benz emphasized his carefree American spirit throughout, accenting each look with brightly colored, oversize baubles by The Woods, an Aspen-based label that the designer has worked with for several seasons. (The circular pendant necklaces were a humorous take on an Elsa Peretti classic.) His overall message? It's time to have fun.
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