February 13, 2011 New York
The city's stately old mansions sent the designer scrambling for interiors and upholstery fabrics; the results, reeking of Southern gentility, included pieces in velvet and Lurex-threaded tweed. The famous Savannah ghost stories lent themselves to spooky prints of pluming smoke. But while the backdrop has changed, the Benz aesthetic has traveled perfectly intact. Key silhouettes have a playful, campy appeal, like a series of trapeze dresses topped off with giant bows; their shape was echoed in swingy cape coats with Pologeorgis fur or shearling trim. Overall, a darker palette predominated. But a two-tone butter-colored leather dress harked back to sunnier days.