25 posts tagged "Chris Benz"
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.
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.”