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April 20 2014

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25 posts tagged "Chris Benz"

the internet with texture

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When Matthew Siskin started designing Web sites for designer friends under the name designedmemory, it was a way to pay the rent so he could focus on his music career. That was back in 2002. Fast-forward six years and he’s responsible for some of the fashion industry’s most inspired online presences, including the Web sites of his pal Chris Benz, Bensoni, Wren, and CFDA finalists Swaim and Christina Hutson of Obedient Sons & Daughters (up next: Lorick). As the name suggests, designedmemory aims to create emotional connections via the Internet, an approach to site building that involves filling the screen with images of the flotsam and jetsam that Siskin finds in designers’ studios—for example, in the case of the Hutsons, he zeroed in on the jars of candy, assorted vintage harmonicas, and old family photos from the fifties that were hanging around. “My goal is to have the audience forget they’re on the Internet by using more video, more of the screen, more textures, less clicking, and continuous fluid movement. Instead of using photos to show texture, [I say] scan the jacket, lend me the shirt, and I’ll get the real buttons—I want the user to get a visceral sense of everything,” he says.

one month to go: fashion’s obama fundraiser

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Derek Lam, Thakoon Panichgul, Chris Benz, and other New York designers and fashion types are co-hosting a last-minute Obama fundraiser at Aurora Lopez Mejia’s Talavera Studio this Friday, October 10—and you’re invited. To get your name on the guest list, donate $100 or more at this Web site.

the domino take on fashion

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“I needed character and I needed a mix,” Lauren Goodman of Domino explained of her decision to feature Christian Louboutin, Michael Bastian, and Vanessa Bruno, among others, in the September fall fashion issue. “I was looking for designers who have a vision. Not just their merchandise, but how that really relates to everything that they do.” Case in point: Matthew Williamson, whose bold, luxe-bohemian aesthetic (and newly redecorated Hampstead home) garnered an eight-page spread. “Somebody like Matthew, who’s so consistently colorful, who likes whimsy, ethnicity—he’s perfect for us,” the fashion director enthused. Also conducive to pleasing the magazine’s fans: partying with Allison Sarofim, the Domino contributing editor and always-gracious hostess, who opened her West Village town house to the likes of Chris Benz, Ann Dexter-Jones, and Thakoon Panichgul last night. “It’s exciting to see them cross over into my world for a little bit,” Sarofim remarked of Williamson, et al. “Obviously I love fashion, so I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.” As to her own domestic design predilections, including a quirky, enviable art collection, she concedes that there’s really no unifying theme, which of course works perfectly chez Sarofim. “If I love it, I love it,” she says. “My taste is eclectic.”

Photo: NEIL RASMUS/PatrickMcMullan.com

background information on chris benz

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When Chris Benz puts on a show, he really puts on a show. For his runway debut, Benz decided to can the catwalk and put his clothes onstage at the 37 Arts theater, where attendees including Byrdie Bell, Susan Sarandon, and Taylor Momsen trooped to see the designer’s punchy-paletted, all-American Spring ’09 collection. Benz’s experiment worked—but a few people were wondering about the onstage backdrop. Had Benz adapted himself to some set design already installed at the theater, or had he commissioned the jumble-shack backdrop for the show? And if so—what did the set mean? “Oh, it doesn’t mean anything,” Benz explained. “A friend of mine made it, and I barely gave him any direction at all. I think what I said was, I’ve got this huge space, and I want something painted, and I want it to look like a pile.” Inspired nonsense: Perhaps Benz has a future in the footlights, after all.

Photo: Marcio Madeira

from john adams to chris benz, doing it your way

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Chris Benz is staging a fashion revolution this season. The designer makes his runway debut next week, and contemplating the traditions of the catwalk put him in mind to do something a little out of the ordinary. “Runway was a natural progression,” says Benz, “but what I always liked about the format of a presentation was that it could be really immersive. So I started thinking about ways to create atmosphere while still having a catwalk. But I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so…” Impatient types can help themselves to fill in Benz’s blanks by noting that his show will take place at the Off Broadway theater 37 Arts—a venue that boasts the standard-issue proscenium stage and seating. That’s as much as Benz is willing to reveal about the show itself, but in the meantime, fans can chew on this: His Spring 2009 collection looks back at the history and meaning of American sportswear, taking pre-Revolutionary style as its jumping-off point. “Yeah, I watched ‘John Adams.’ But only because my friend Mamie Gummer is in it. What’s interesting to me, beyond the details of period dress, is the attitude that underlies it—that specifically American attitude of OK, it’s time to loosen up. We’re going to do this our own way.”

Photo: Courtesy of Chris Benz