Friday, September 17, 2010

Alejandro Ingelmo for Chris Benz Spring 2011

How fast time flies... It's been a year since Lancome and Chris Benz announced the new name for the Pout-a-Porter lipstick used for the NYFW Spring 2010. And this year, I'm zoning in to the shoes used for the show.

DESIGNER: Chris Benz.

WHERE: The Atrium at Lincoln Center.

FRONT ROW: Caroline Manzo, Carmen Electra and Kelly Osbourne among others.

VIBE: Chris Benz will always give you color, pattern, and retro. This season, it’s a French ’60s vibe with dramatic side parts, wide skirts and pants, and makeup inspired by French singer France Gall. Orange (big color this season, btw), turquoise, and neon yellow were the main colors here, mixed with muted gray and linen. There was light violet on the eyes and nails (Violet Groove by LancĂ´me), and chunky heels by Alejandro Ingelmo. It was quite refreshing to see such bold color after a week of all-white collections, but then again, if Benz did an all-white collection, it would be newsworthy!

BIGGEST HIT: The high-waist pleated circle skirt, striped with gray, white, and tan, paired with the beige silk knit polo, piped in neon yellow.

Alejandro Ingelmo was asked to design a collection for Chris Benz, and the result was a combination of the two designers distinct styles. ”We’re two opposites,” Ingelmo said at the presentation. “It’s his quirky side with my sexy design side.”

Even Plain Jane would bloom in a pair of Benz's electric blue floral cigarette pants, worn here with matching platform mules by Alejandro Ingelmo. Fuller skirts and some wider pant legs hit the mood of the moment, and the pleated A-line minis were properly cute. Once again, Benz worked with Loro Piana on his knits, which were judiciously restrained. They had a funny way of sticking with you, actually; when the neon was limited to piping on a polo or small blocks on a bikini bandeau, it packed more punch. This being the Lincoln Center season—Benz showed at the complex's airy atrium—one might've wished a conductor had been consulted. Ask one, and he'll tell you: Nobody plays the whole symphony cranked up to 11.

These shoes are unlike standard Ingelmo designs, which never include fabric or florals. This collection is great but may not appeal to the classic lovers who always opt for the black, white or nude tones. When the shoes arrive for sale they will bear the “Alejandro Ingelmo for Chris Benz” tag.

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