Creative Direction – Women's Ready-to-Wear, Shoes & Accessories
BILL BLASS | PRE-FALL 2016 Bill Blass launches its second collection under new Creative Director, Chris Benz. The pre-fall range, available from April 1st, continues and builds upon the brand’s foundation concept of creating products as the ‘cherry on top’ of an outfit. The new collection oers unique pieces imbued with irreverent and colorful personality.
Benz cites inspiration for the women’s ready-to-wear from “garden parties at the Greenbrier Hotel. Dreaming of iced tea, floral garlands, salty seascapes, and unabashed Americana.” Romance and levity are reflected in fabrications such as tulle, sequins, cashmere and washed twill. A sense of disheveled luxury for which Benz has become known, is reflected in destroyed jersey tees garnished with delicate metallic floral beading and rumpled, garment-dyed cotton suiting. The brand’s ethos is to purvey more special, more unique pieces, embracing the idea of ‘dress-up box’ styling. Building on the launch collection, the new season features more embellishment and layers, blurring the concept of day, evening and occasion in one single look. The collection’s essence is described as “everyday weekends” citing the notion of consumers’ need to feel both weekend-comfortable and workday-chic at all times. Benz further blends the notions of “leisure, decorum and a touch of saccharine” as a touch-point for the collection.
Designing for the modern woman on the go, Bill Blass continues creating ‘spontaneous travel’ clothes – items that can be tossed into your carry-on, due to their easy wearing fabrics and treatments. Garments have the luxury of comfort and utility with an added flourish. With the same wearability in mind, footwear comfort remains cornerstone. All new shoe styles are flat, with the comfort sole technology that consumers have grown to love from Bill Blass. With six new colors available, the suede Sutton Slip-On sneaker continues its reign as the ultimate on-the-go shoe.
Duffle bags in two scales are the new handbag shapes in suede and pebbled calf, conveying an elevated utility, available in clear, delicious colors. Three new colors of the unlined Buckley Tote Bags are unveiled, including bright blue, green, and ivory.
The new range shows an evolution based on the brand’s growing customer feedback and demand: “Now that the brand is on a roll after the riotous launch in November, we are understanding what the customer wants from us.” Benz says. “I have, along with the design team, worked diligently towards giving her even more of what she loves. That’s what the new collection is all about – very approachable yet spirited product! And, with every week that goes by, we have established new partnerships and ventures aimed at bringing Bill Blass to our customers through both eCommerce and major retail partners." Images courtesy of Bill Blass
BILL BLASS | SPRING 2016 American sportswear codes, constructed in relaxed, tumbled materials in punchy early-1970’s colors form the foundation of the Bill Blass launch collection of women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, and accessories. The brand DNA is distilled into a simple language of modern, relaxed separates and accessories with a focus on the mobile consumer. Garment-dyed linen twill mixes playfully with sandwashed silk charmeuse and exuberant ruffles. The relaxed, carefree spirit is paramount to traditional structured ready-to-wear. The irreverence of a 1970’s tuxedo runs throughout the collection, but in a new relaxed silhouette. Ruffle-front shirts are given new life as tunics and blouses layered over leather leggings and drop-crotch suiting. An ample dose of slouch and matter-of-factness pervades.
The classic rugby stripe – a Bill Blass signature – is given a modern twist in raw-edge ruffle pieces and oversize tonal shirtdresses. Cashmere knits are overprinted with sporty stripes, as well, or with large-scale paint drip motifs. Continuing the theme of early-1970’s Americana, a burnout jersey capsule of teeshirts and tanks in covetable hues forms the base of the look,
Handbags and accessories draw philosophically from the notion that each Bill Blass piece should act as the “cherry on top” of your look. Bold colors, chunky hardware modeled after all sorts of disposable accouterments (e.g. the pull-tab from a beer can or hardware store-worthy d-rings) are tempered with natural webbing camera straps, spazzolato leather, and pebbled calfskin. Pockets are engineered to suit the modern global lifestyle, complimenting the size and shape of tech devices. Shoes are primarily flat – ranging from suede slip-ons, to shiny box calf loafers and even a shearling sneaker – and all are produced with memory-foam footbeds for wearability. Available via billblass.com