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Fashion designer Chris Benz blends colors, textures, and time periods to craft a style that’s distinctive as his shock of pink hair. For the launch of Fashion Week in New York City, we worked with Chris to transform the windows of our Broadway store. After taking some cues from Chris’ fall collection and his own personal style, the west elm team used Chris’ textiles to upholster an ottoman and make mountains of pillows. Then we let him run wild…

THE INSPIRATION

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west-elm-solid-color-over-dyed-dye-block-rugs chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display-instagram chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display
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What inspires you?

In all of our collections, we love to create this mix of really old and really new elements. I’m always collecting and combining images. You never know. We’ve done full collections based on one tiny weird newspaper picture that has some great colors.

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THE PROCESS

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chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display-wallpaper-install-ladder chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display-upholster-ottoman-diy-floral-print chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display-we-love-sign-make-craft

The west elm windows feature pieces from your Fall 2012 collection — what are your styles all about this fall?

The fall collection is a throwback to old holiday television spectaculars, like the Judy Garland Christmas Special. All the colors have these technicolor Christmas hues. All the mannequins wear these bouffant wigs. I don’t know what it is about that period, it just feels like everyone was having a great time!

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chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display

How does your fashion style relate to your style at home?

It’s always all about a mix of colors, of shiny and matte textures, of different prints and  proportions. And it’s also always about creating a narrative about a person in a place. At my home, the story is just about me and my brain. This splash paint pattern is actually the same one that’s in my kitchen.

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chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display

It looks like a wild night in here…

The story behind the window design is about this girl who is a totally reckless free-spirit character. She’s kind of a muse for us. Of course she’d mess up her hotel room, and vacuum while watching a Christmas special, while wearing a funny dress. This is the first time I’ve ever designed a store window. When the opportunity came up, I was like, we’re doing it!

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chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display-red-shoes-fireplace-fire-style chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display-mantle-flowers-clock-niche chris-benz-west-elm-fashion-night-out-new-york-broadway-store-window-display-yellow-gold-pink-feather-duster

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Fashion’s Night Out at west elm Broadway
Enjoy 10% off your west elm purchase exclusively at west elm Broadway during the hours of 6pm-9pm on 9/6/2012. Cannot be combined with any other discounts.

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Chris Benz is the American fashion designer behind Chris Benz. His Spring 2013 Collection shows at New York Fashion Week on September 10. Connect with Chris on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and get an inside look into Fashion Week!

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