Chris Benz Gets Inspired By Hot Summer Nights for Spring

Chris Benz drew inspiration from hot summer nights and Warhol superstars like Candy Darling when designing his Spring 2012 collection.

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: A model is seen here at the Chris Benz Spring 2012 presentation during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on September 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)
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Chris Benz showed his Spring 2012 in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. He told us the initial inspiration for the collection came from "hot summer nights."
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"I was thinking about the insanity of living in New York," Benz said. "It was like the hottest summer. And everybody thought they were kind of going insane. So then I started thinking about insane New Yorkers. And I landed on Candy Darling the Warhol superstar who became my inspiration for the season."
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"We did a lot of research and pulled the color palette from Polaroid portraits of different [Warhol] superstars and then we took them and put them on Coney Island and developed everything surrounding that idea," Benz said.
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As for where Benz thinks he gets his great sense of color (something present in all of his collections) the designer told us, "I chalk it up to being from Seattle. It's always gray there!"
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The collection offered up everything from florals to neons to 1960s-inspired prints -- all paired together and often mismatched.
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Benz also played with textures. There were beaded green pants, tweed jackets and silk pajama shirts. Proportions were modest -- skirts and dresses fell below the knee.
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Colorful and eclectic, there was an easy elegance to the collection.
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Benz collaborated with Alejandro Ingelmo on the shoes in the collection, including these graphic black and white sneakers.
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DJ Riggs, TIGI's Creative Director, told us he wanted the hair "as dirty and big as possible, like old Elizabeth Taylor hair."
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Daniel Martin for Lancome played off of Benz's Candy Darling reference to create the makeup. The look was comprised of an orange bold lip and green eye makeup.
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