Photos by Yuka Yoneda for Ecouterre

Imagine for a moment, if you will, that the Stepford Wives hired the Merry Pranksters from the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test as their personal stylists. The result would bear more than a passing resemblance to Chris Benz’s Spring/Summer 2012, which debuted at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week on Monday. With their gently teased Elizabeth Taylor hair, boxy shoulder pads, and psychedelic ’60s-inspired threads, Benz’s beauties were a screwball combo of Jackie O. meets Karen O. We also spotted some of Benz’s celebrity fans rally their support for the flamingo-haired Prince of Color, one of the few designers who manufactures almost exclusively in the United States.

Chris Benz, Spring/Summer 2012, New York Fashion Week, New York Eco-Fashion Week, New York Green Fashion Week, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Lincoln Center

Kelly Osbourne, Benz, and Eva Amurri (her mom’s actress Susan Sarandon).


While the clothes were undeniably inspiring—a ladylike bouclé trench and a floral-camo blazer were among the standouts—the fabric that served as their backdrops had a story of their own. Benz intends to turn the pastel silks into dresses to be auctioned off for charity, according to Melissa d’Attilio of Fly Productions, which put the show together. That wasn’t the only sustainable element of the show, either. The models stood on platforms made from recycled apple crates gussied up with fluorescent tape.

Benz intends to turn the pastel-silk backdrops into dresses to be auctioned off for charity.

Backstage, we were treated to some tidbits about the models’ couture coifs by Tigi. “We wanted almost a wig-like texture,” hair-guru Nick Irwin told Ecouterre. “Chris’s references stemmed from ’50s and ’60s housewives with a bit of a twist of iconic U.K. pop. We left dark roots to give it an edge.”

+ Chris Benz