Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chris Benz & Affordable Fashion

It's weird how sometimes you hear something about a designer that makes you want to have them in your closet, even if you aren't completely familiar with their clothes beforehand. Whether we like it or not, labels influence our purchases - whether it's Urban Outfitters or Chanel, every brand has an aesthetic and an ideology built around it and when we purchase a piece of clothing, we are buying into that and taking it on as our own.

Anyway, this morning I read this article about Chris Benz and I shit you not, it made me want to go out and buy a piece by him immediately. Maybe it's his description of the kind of girl he imagines wearing his label: “She’s a carefree, artsy girl who likes to have fun and forgets to pay her cellphone bill,” or perhaps it is his multiple references to Margot Tenenbaum (mention any Wes Anderson flick and I'm with you). But I think what really sold me on Benz is his commitment to making a label that is actually affordable to us bohemian goddesses who just so happen to not have huge trust funds lying around waiting to be squandered on designer wares. As the article outlines, he is basically taking his label from high-end "designer" status to the relatively more affordable "upper contemporary" level - meaning instead of pieces that retail in the $3,000 range, clothing will top out at around $1,200. And go as low as $120! Sure, that price is probably for like, a cotton T-shirt, but still. Progress, people. 

Margot, with cigarette

Tub chillin'. Even gorgeous, suicidal rich chicks do it.
Oh, god, that song. Nico + Margot = too amazing
The bottom line is that it's nice to see a designer who gets it that there are girls out there - a lot of girls, in fact - who want the designer look and name but simply cannot in their wildest dreams even imagine spending four figures on a blouse. At least, not today. It's a tricky balance between making art and making something that is wearable. I think a lot of designers don't want every girl walking down the street to be able to afford their pieces, because then it isn't special. But of course, we are living in an ever-evolving age of democratized everything, including fashion. I have to say I am a little tired of the endless H&M/Target collabs, because honestly, they feel overpriced for the quality, but a designer who genuinely wants to market his primary line to the women out there who are dying to wear it? Seems like a no-brainer to me. 

The sequins! Also this model totally reminds me of  Helena Bonham Carter in her Fight Club days.

Look one reminds me of a Scottish Christmas gone wrong. But looks 2 and 3 - count me in! From F/W '12
I'm on the ebay hunt for a pair of gloves exactly like these.


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