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September 2 2014

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26 posts tagged "Chris Benz"

Grads Show Promise at the Annual Parsons Fashion Show

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Parsons

“You never leave Parsons,” Simon Collins said from his perch onstage at Wednesday’s fourth annual Parsons Fashion Show. His statement rang true, because yesterday’s show was just as much about the Parsons family as it was about showing off the graduating seniors’ final collections. Editors, photographers, and an endless wave of students crowded into the school’s state-of-the-art University Center at 63 Fifth Avenue, where Milk Studios’ Mazdack Rassi and Parsons alum Chris Benz spoke about their experiences with the school, the importance of having a point of view, and how the brand-new facilities are far superior to the “dump” Parsons used to occupy in Midtown. A series of videos also played in between mini fashion shows, with cameos from Donna Karan, Anna Sui, and Style.com’s Dirk Standen.

“Parsons is all about collaborating,” Collins said. He was referring to the school’s own collaborations, which range from an Allen Edmonds capsule collection to the Parsons/Kering “Empowering Imagination” Competition, which is featured on Style.com this week. “If you’re a brand or you work for a brand, you know you can’t really guarantee being on the homepage of Style.com,” Collins said. “But Parsons can.” You could tell that these BFA students are born collaborators, too. They showed a firm grasp of the current market, sending out boxy coats à la Proenza Schouler; layered knits that called to mind Burberry’s Fall ’14 show; and even Fendi-inspired luxe fur accents, like those on Wenqi Wu’s covetable sheared tunic. We would wear those pieces tomorrow. Each student had a defined point of view—Ximon Lee cites the clothes of Russian street children as his starting point—but at the same time, the show felt cohesive. Not an easy feat. These students spent four years (or more) playing off of each others’ ideas and aesthetics to finish with a range of high-quality, very impressive final projects. You could picture them being an asset to any design team—although many dream of becoming the next Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, or Anna Sui, all Parsons alums who are still very connected to the school. Following the students’ upcoming graduation, we can see why they won’t want to leave the clan.

Photo: Courtesy of Parsons the New School for Design 

Required Reading: Parsons The New School for Design Releases Its First Book

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Mazdack Rassi, Simon CollinsNostalgic Parsons designers rubbed elbows among alumni old and new at Milk Studios last night in celebration of the design school’s first book. One would think that all those featured in The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers were star pupils, but Anna Sui wasn’t one of them. Inside the crowded room, the designer confessed to her less-than-scholarly ways. “Being 18 and living in New York City with no parental guidance, I wasn’t a good student,” confessed Sui. But it was a fun time, she admitted.

Working her way around the room, Behnaz Sarafpour correctly named all of the designers whose sketches hung along the walls—including her own, drawn on a cocktail napkin. Sarafpour later reunited with fellow alum Reed Krakoff who, like her, once interned with Narciso Rodriguez. The two stood in front of a wall of black-and-white portraits opposite Proust questionnaires that asked designers Alexander Wang, Derek Lam, and Jason Wu the following: “What fictional character do you most identify with?” and “Who are your heroes in real life?” For Chris Benz, who was in attendance, the answers included Tom Sawyer and Martha Stewart, respectively.

“When I realized there hadn’t been a book written, I figured it’d be crazy not to,” said Simon Collins, the school’s dean of fashion, who hosted the event along with Milk’s Mazdack Rassi. The new tome includes thirty designer-dedicated chapters with a host of vibrant illustrations, photographs, and introspective quotes taken from exclusive interviews conducted over the past year. Part of the proceeds from sales will benefit scholarships for Parsons students.

While upping the school’s fashion cred ranks high on Collins’ to-do list, the dean was quick to boast that crafting the book was good for all involved. “I mean, the designers loved it,” offered Collins. “They can show their mums.”

The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers is published by Assouline. Available at select bookstores or online at assouline.com.

Photo: Lola Haze/BFAnyc.com 

Designers Celebrate Christmas In July With eBay

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“I’m a total eBay-phile,” said Chris Benz (pictured) at last night’s midtown cocktail party to fête the behemoth retailer’s latest buzzy collaboration, the eBay Holiday Collective. Benz, along with Billy Reid, Jonathan Adler, Steven Alan, Fallon’s Dana Lorenz, Ruffian’s Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, and Tibi’s Amy Smilovic, were on hand to present their limited-edition capsule collections for the megabrand, which ranges from silk twill pajamas to canvas travel accessories. “I wanted to give the eBay customer a real sense of what I do,” said Lorenz, who used crystals and gold-plated pyramids to recreate her signature chunky necklaces. “It’s a punk-princess look.”

Although the seven designers turned out to tout their own lines, each admitted to routinely trolling the site for vintage duds and mid-century finds. “I have a serious paint-by-numbers collection,” revealed Wolk, whose Spring 2009 print was informed by the kitschy tableaux of the forties and fifties. Some even scour the site for transportation vehicles. (Reid recently acquired a 24-foot pontoon boat from the e-tailer, which he docks at his Florence, Alabama, home.)

“I went through a serious eBay addiction, so I’m happy to get a few shekels back,” quipped Adler, who created silver studded frames for the collection. The interior design magnate’s tip to scoring big online? “Misspelling. If you’re in the market for Bulgari, spell it with a ‘v.’ It’s amazing what you’ll find.” The Holiday Collective, which ranges from $50 to $100, will be available on eBay starting November 12.

Photo: Billy Farrell / BFAnyc.com

Call His Name: Alejandro

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“It’s my first real presentation, outside of my showroom, so I wanted to keep it really simple and precise,” shoe designer and fourth-generation cobbler Alejandro Ingelmo said at his Milk Studios presentation. “For me, less is more.” Not necessarily what you’d expect to hear from someone whose client roster includes Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and Britney Spears. (For those maximalists, at least, he obliged with the occasional Swarovski Elements-crystal embellishment.)

Nor was Ingelmo’s simple really all that simple. He showed towering leather platform sandals and sharply angled ankle boots in black, nude, silver, and gold—not exactly hop-on-the-subway fare. But he’s conscious of comfort; he’s a runner himself and often spotted in New Balances when he’s not wearing his own leather high-tops—so he’s done thick-strap flat sandals, too.

You’ll have to wait for spring to snatch up the new version of his best-selling Thriller, a gravity-defying platform that’s a blend of sexy straps and futuristic metallic leather. If you need to get your Ingelmo fix now, you can check out the Helmut Lang and Chris Benz Spring shows, both of which feature AI collabs. Or you can just head down to his recently opened boutique on Wooster in Soho.

Photo: Courtesy of Alejandro Ingelmo

Designers On Holiday

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Light the barbecue, slice the watermelons, and get out your obligatory patriotic T-shirt. Fourth of July is fast approaching this weekend and summer is finally in full swing. Now that Resort appointments are (almost) over, designers, too, can finally kick back and breathe easy. (At least for a few minutes—another fashion week is just around the corner.) Here, Style.com checks in with some of our favorite designers to see what they are indulging in this summer.

“My greatest summer indulgence is doing a summer house with my closest group of friends—it’s so worth it. Fun, dinner, stories, sharing ideas and goals, celebrating success, and picking each other up through failures, with my groups of friends whom I have known for more than 12 years, is amazing.” —Prabal Gurung

“I wish I had more time to read; I have a long list of suggestions that my friends have given me—right now I’m actually reading an architecture book. But when I’m off duty, I want to be on a beach somewhere with my family. ” —Maria Cornejo

“In the summer, I look forward to spending the days in my garden in the country, my chickens, my fish, the afternoon swim, and the evenings with friends—especially over an elaborate meal that I cook with bottles of chilled rosé. The undiluted natural beauty of the Columbia County countryside, the smell of the plants, blossoms, and shrubs, they all recharge me.” —Bibhu Mohapatra

“I just like to be outside. I skateboard a lot and I love to surf—I usually short board these days. ” —Yigal Azrouël (left)

“Reading my Kindle on the beach—there is nothing more relaxing then a good book with the sand between your toes. I’m spending this Fourth of July at my Shelter Island home. I love hosting a barbecue and watching the fireworks with my closest family and friends. It makes me feel like an American via New Zealand!” —Rebecca Taylor

“Lately, I have really been obsessed with playing Scrabble. It sounds so nerdy, but my boyfriend and I play Scrabble at sunset on my rooftop and have cocktails. I would say that’s a very indulgent summer evening.” —Erin Fetherston

“I’m going to the Turks and Caicos this summer. Usually, we go to Europe but I’m so busy right now we decided this would be the easiest. I have never been to the Caribbean so this should be fun. I usually travel with a giant stack of magazines but I got a BlackBerry Playbook, so this will keep things a little more efficient.” —Chris Benz

“Long bike rides, Magnum ice cream bars, and tanning! I use Maui Babe and it makes the perfect tan.” —Rebecca Minkoff

Photo: Neil Rasmus / BFAnyc.com