February 04, 2007
In an art-filled gallery at Christie┐s, we met a gaggle of insouciant bookworm types with a quirky dress code and a killer sense of color: Chris Benz, at the dewy age of 24, cast his first-ever show as a trio of set pieces starring girls who threw together looks in a mash-up of styles. Jodhpurs were worn with pajama tops under roomy, lightweight tweed jackets; a calf-hair jacket topped rugby stripes; wool shorts mixed with a micropleat chiffon tank and a delicately embroidered tulle cardigan.
Pea coats, trenches, and boxy jackets came not double- but quadruple-breasted. Some of Benz┐s color combinations (dusty blue with mustard and navy, acid-bright turquoise with navy and rust) could easily have gone terribly wrong. But instead they struck all the right chords. This was definitely a strong breakout from the starting gate.