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Thursday, March 26th 2009

color me timeless

There’s been a lot of gravitation toward black and white these days (I’m guilty as well) because of their timeless appeal, but as classic as the colorless duo is, shades of the rainbow have been a factor in fashion for years. In the right hands—like those of Chris Benz, whose masterful employ of Roy G. Biv makes your basic black and white look like boring fare—color has real staying power.

Look to Benz’s spring collection, the inspiration for which is as seemingly out-of-left-field as a dress that mingles red, fuchsia, teal, and orange (Benz does this, brilliantly). The designer took his cue for the season from “Revolutionary War-era dressing,” he told Style.com. That’s right: styles of the American Revolution. And yet each piece feels modern and unforced. The faintest hint of military influence underlies the collection as a whole and comes out strong in a militia-inflected jacket (a clever, fashion-forward take on The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper). The rest is about color. Bright colorblocking plays beautifully among neutral pieces, and even the boldest combinations—like the red-fuchsia-teal-orange number mentioned above—feel effortless under Benz’s deft eye.

So keep thinking about those investment pieces, ladies, but don’t limit yourself to the b’s and w’s. Every wardrobe could use a color lift like Chris Benz.


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