One of the many reasons we love Chris Benz’s seasonal presentations—besides the kooky, colorful clothes, of course—is that the atmosphere is consistently low-key. Chris has scores of celebrity fans, of course, but none of them ever seem to wind up barricaded in by bodyguards or uppity handlers when they come to pay the designer a visit at NYFW. Susan Sarandon even brought her two puppies along to Avery Fisher Hall, and gamely let the canines pose for pictures with fans.
When we headed to the outdoor bar at Chris‘ presentation, we stumbled upon The Newsroom star Alison Pill, who—true to this chilled-out vibe—was happily enjoying a cocktail, with nary a press escort or even photographer in sight. As big fans of both Alison’s work on the HBO series and her many movies (Midnight in Paris, Pieces of April, Milk), we took the opportunity to chat up the enthusiastic actress.
Lucky: First things first: Your peplum dress is amazing. It’s Chris’, we presume?
Alison Pill: Yep. My buddy Chris put me in the fancy!
How long have you guys known each other?
About three years now. I actually met Chris from just being in New York and having mutual friends and hanging out. I sort of heard he was a fashion designer afterwards! Now, he’s got a big fan in me.
We’re big fans of The Newsroom at Lucky. How do you feel about your character Maggie Jordan’s onscreen style?
I love Maggie’s style. I work so well with our amazing costume designer, Hope Hanafin, who is just a goddess of clothes. She’s great at creating different stylistic choices for each of the many, many characters—she has a lot on her plate. From the beginning of the first episode, the pilot, I just said, "I’m really obsessed with waists right now." And funny enough, I don’t think Maggie actually wears pants that often.
It’s true, she’s always in dresses and pencil skirts. Which I love, personally, being someone who kind of hates pants.
Me too! I mean, I’ll wear them at home…but to go out, I love a dress because it’s one piece. You throw it on and you’re done. If you need an outfit and you’re not good at outfitting yourself, a dress is perfect.
Is there one look you’ve worn on the show that you especially liked?
There was one really fun Rebecca Taylor dress I got to wear that wasn’t really "Maggie affordable"…but I was like, "Well, Rebecca Taylor is available at Loehmann’s. She could have found it somewhere. Secondhand finds are easy to come by in New York." It was so comfy, and Rebecca’s clothes just make you feel frilly and lovely.
You all are on hiatus now, right? What else are you doing in your time off? Any more shows?
No, this is the only Fashion Week "business" I’m attending! I get back to L.A. in about a month…
For some reason I assumed you filmed the show here—we all recognize the corner of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue in the exterior shots, since it’s around the corner from Condé Nast.
I know! I actually have a friend over at Vanity Fair, so when I was doing theater at 42nd Street, I used to walk over and have lunch at your cafeteria. The space-age Condé Nast cafeteria!
That’s too funny! OK, so what else is on the docket for you right now?
I just painted our bedroom in our house in Montreal. I did an accent wall in this beautiful blue-gray color…it’s very calming and lovely. And right now, my dude and I are off to Quebec City to stay in the most haunted hotel in Canada, the Chateau Frontenac. They apparently have a good ghost.
Photo: Getty Images
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- Alexa Ray Joel Gives Some Pointers on How to Wear an Herve Leger Bandage Dress
- At Rachel Antonoff, Models Played Badminton and Ate Cake
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