Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For those of you who don't know, Chris Benz is not only one of the freshest young designers in the industry right now but he's also a SCAD fashion mentor that makes frequent trips down to Savannah to help guide the young minds of the fashion program. 

His designs are the perfect mixture of classic and quirky with the most wonderful splash of color and personality. Benz is undoubtedly one of my favorite designers, and seeing him walking down Jones street this past summer left me star struck. I immediately checked his twitter only to find out it truly was him! Benz is such a regular in Savannah lately that his collection was deeply inspired by our lovely little city. 

 "Savannah is such a strange place," Benz said at his presentation today. "Caught between Southern decorum and the influx of art school kids—it's quite a collision." You could hardly script it better. With his taste for slightly dusty, granny-takes-a-trip finery and a puckish sense of fun (he's currently sporting a pointy quiff dyed several shades of Manic Panic neon), Benz just about embodies that mash-up himself.

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. "

The entire collection remains true to Benz's image and his Savannah inspiration is very apparent but not in an 'in your face' way. The pieces are classic and elegant with just enough stuffiness balanced out with a slightly disheveled and offbeat look, just like the city of Savannah. 

What I like best about him is that although his designs are cohesive, they're not predictable. When I view his collections, it's always a large array of different items that are not only beautiful and dreamlike but absolutely wearable and practical for  a woman to wear or aspire to wear. 

 for more of the collection, please click here. 

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