Chris Benz thinks it's time to get dressy again

JOCELYN NOVECK AP National Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's fitting that designer Chris Benz presented his fall/winter collection at Avery Fisher Hall. That's where the New York Philharmonic performs, an occasion for which some people, even today, still dress up.

And Benz wants all of us to dress up.

"I was in the mood for dressing up again," he said on the sidelines of his entertaining presentation on Monday. "I feel like sometimes that dress-up element is missing. But it feels right, now."

How'd he achieve his effect? With a lot of fabrics that were, well, dressed up -- like silk faille, and more beading than usual.

The man who's been called the Prince of Color (his hair is dyed pink) did not disappoint on that front. Eye-popping red was a big favorite, in a glittery sleeveless gown, for example, with a big bow at the center and white, elbow-length gloves to create a Jackie Kennedy effect. A '60s-inflected red glittery top over formfitting black slacks, on the other hand, evoked thoughts of Judy Garland.

There was plenty of shiny silver, too, in the dressier outfits, and jaunty little jackets in the less dressy ones.

Models, who stood on little pedestals against a gold, glittery curtain, had high, poufy hair and little chapeaux on top.

And they seemed to get into the celebratory mood, smiling and chatting a bit, rather than maintaining that icy model stare. How nice to see models smile!

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