August 22 2014

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26 posts tagged "Chris Benz"

Olfactory Verve


In a way, it was their sense of smell that brought Christiane Amanpour, Thom Browne, Derek Lam, and WSJ.‘s Deborah Needleman together last night. British fragrance house Jo Malone organized an intimate dinner party at Peels for fans of the brand that turned out to be a stimulating potpourri of editors, thread-makers, and interior designers—the sort of affair that had J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons sitting next to Malcolm Gladwell.

The upstairs room at Taavo Somer’s new East Village outpost didn’t smell like anything in particular. If it were Chris Benz’s studio, we learned, there would have been strong notes of mint and basil. “I have millions of scented candles,” the designer explained, “and I drive people crazy because I’m always like, ‘why aren’t the candles lit?’” Philip Crangi did him one better: “I have patchouli and sandalwood from this one incense factory in India that’s been making incense for, like, 800 years,” he said.

Just before tucking into his swordfish steak, Jonathan Adler (pictured, center, with Philip Crangi and Simon Doonan) mentioned that he’d written the bulk of his two upcoming books in rooms redolent of fresh tomato. The home-design maestro knows whereof he speaks, of course. “I’m a purveyor, and a member of the decorative fragrance community. We’re a very private community,” Adler deadpanned. “We gather and sniff.”

Photo: Mimi Ritzen Crawford / Courtesy of Jo Malone

Designers Offer A Few Precious Metals


This Fall, New York’s Museum of Arts and Design celebrates its second anniversary. The traditional gift for such an occasion, as any bride can tell you, is metal, so that’s what the museum’s well-wishers are offering: All manner of metal art, jewelry, clothes, and craft, which will be sold at its annual gala on October 18th to raise money for its educational programs. Arts and design being top of mind for the fashion set as well as fine artists, plenty of style-world types are involved: The host committee for the Metal Ball includes Chris Benz, Duckie Brown‘s Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, Pamela Love, Mandy Coon, and (full disclosure) yours truly. The list of artists donating is even more impressive. Richard Meier, Michael Stipe, Rogan Gregory, and Robert Lee Morris have all donated metal items for the cause; I’ve got my eye on the enormous metal urn (left), contributed by designer-cum-interiors-guru Rick Owens. It’ll go perfectly with that one-ton Owens alabaster bed I’ve had my eye on. For tickets and more information, visit

Photo: Courtesy of MAD

Run For Cover


In our print-crazed moment, wild designs of every stripe are getting fresh looks, from printed pants to clashing patterned outfits. But around our office, we’ve been feeling the time’s right for a more classic, utilitarian print to make a comeback, too: good, old-fashioned army/navy camouflage. Looks like we’re not alone. Chris Benz, in the Times today, discussed his renewed fondness for all things camo (including the more graphic Australian and Duck patterned versions), and designers from Prada to J Brand to Rag & Bone have all showed print pieces. They’re bold enough to look basic, even neutral—but you definitely won’t blend in. Here are a few of our favorite items.
Above: Rag & Bone Fall ’10; A.P.C. military-style jacket, $340, available at

Prada bifold Saffiano leather wallet, $355, available at

Camouflage-printed silk shirt by Equipment (right) and T-shirt by Wayne (left).

Jake Davis for Sebago camouflage leather boat shoes, $110, available Friday, August 27, at

Bags from Michael Kors (left) and Trussardi 1911 (right).

Camouflage-printed jeans by J Brand.

Photos: All photos courtesy of the respective designers except Rag & Bone: Andrew Thomas

Letter From Last Night: Actress Alison Pill On Her Visit To Fashion-Land


Actress Alison Pill, who currently stars opposite Edie Falco Off-Broadway in This Wide Night, attended last night’s CFDA Awards (and, naturally, after-parties) with Chris Benz. Below, a few photos from the duo from the prep to the party—with commentary from both.

Alison Pill: We had a fitting in the morning, and luckily Chris makes clothes that fit me. It’s almost like there’s no need for a fitting for his stuff since it hangs so nicely. But his elevator doesn’t have those little security mirrors in the corner.
Chris Benz: It only has the camera, so you can’t look at your hair on the way down. Continue Reading “Letter From Last Night: Actress Alison Pill On Her Visit To Fashion-Land” »

Chris Benz’s L.A. Story


In town for a few short days of Fall ’10 press appointments at the Chateau (including some strategic meetings with stylists for appearances at Cannes), Chris Benz (pictured, with Shiva Rose) took a little breather to mingle with friends at a cocktail party thrown in his honor at interior designer Nathan Turner’s West Hollywood store. It wasn’t his own stomping grounds, per se—Benz is from Washington State—but the native West Coaster was feeling the left-side vibe. “Being from Seattle, I totally get L.A.,” Benz said. “It’s such a big market for us because people just get the clothes and that casual elegance that we try and convey.”

Why is that? Call it the shining-sun effect of the California climate (despite, that is, the evening’s unseasonably cool temperatures and gusty breezes—they didn’t seem to keep the crowd at bay, anyhow). “L.A. is nice because it has that great mix of cool girl and classic lady and they both really understand the colors that I love and use,” Benz told us of his sunny, Day-Glo palette. “They’ll just wear my sparkly dresses with flats.”

That fits the designer’s evolving maxi-meets-mini approach. Resort, he said, is “a more minimal approach to elegance and refinement.” Next week, he’s back in the studio for sample-making, but he’s got one more warm-weather stop before heading home. Instead of walking the red carpet at Monday’s Met Ball, Benz will be sitting on a panel called “Fashion in 360 Degrees: Building a Fashion Label” at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Photo: Sean F. Zanni