Chris Benns – Stylist

Vogue Homme, V, Vman, BLVD, Electric Youth, ID, Tommy Hilfiger, Dunhill and Mc Q, Kim Jones, Alasdair McLellan, Josh Ollins… just a few of the names on Chris’ client list. I say not bad at 24!
Chris never stops smiling, and so he should, life is good in BennsLand! Here’s what he has to say about fashion and life in general.

Julien: I deal with new photographers all the time and always tell them how important it is to have a great stylist on the shoot. Not only because of the clothes, but for the creative input, what’s your take on that?
Chris: I totally agree. Styling for me goes deep into creative direction of the shoot too. Before any shoot I work on so many emails, going back and forth between the creative team and I. Whether it be discussing make-up, light etc. Some times I end up sending the most random images to the photographer as it will have a certain feel or attitude to them. I have huge files on my Mac of reference images. I’m constantly taking photos throughout my day of things I see that inspire me. There’s so many “stylists” out there today that you have to make sure your work is on point and you can’t just call in an amazing garment and expect it to do all the work it self.

J: Where do you see your style go in the future? Do you think stylist have to adapt to current trends?
C: I believe in “keeping it simple” unless your intentionally going O.T.T. I hate overworked images. I think it was Coco Chanel who said always take off of the last thing you put on before you leave the house. You can make a plain white t-shirt look amazing if its shot and styled correctly. In regards to “do stylist have to adapt to current trends?” I would say in their own way yes, but you can’t adapt too much as you lose your individuality and the thing that makes you who you are creatively.

J: I’m obsessed with Kim Jones and Alasdair McLellan! How was it working with them and amazing people like Gisele, Agnete, Evandro, Chanel…?
C: I love Kim to bits, he is great at what he does and is such a nice person! I’m such a streetwear geek and his brand blew me away with what he was doing… and then to go on to work with him on a day to day basis was amazing. His way of thinking and the things he references from are unbelievable. That paired with working alongside Andre Walker on his line and you get some really hardcore products.
When you work with Kim and Al it’s definitaly an experience. You shoot to some of the most camp music you’ve ever heard and you have some fun. This is so key to a good shoot in my opinion.
The truth is that if everyone on the shoot is having a good time you get great results and you’re always going to have that when you shoot with them.
Working with Gisele was great, she’s an endless book of amazing poses/looks. Before we shot her I got told “you’ll get on fine she talks like a truck driver” and on meeting her she was really nice and down to earth. I loved the fact I got to the shoot late and as I walked into the studio she came straight up to me and was “hey, I’m Gisele *kiss-kiss*”. Shooting Chanel was fun she was still young when I shoot for the V ford models thing and her mum was going everywhere with her both were really nice people!

J: How’s life? I know you’re engaged to one of the most beautiful girl in the world, I’m guessing happy times ahead?
C: Life’s good. Yeah I’m engaged to Models1’s very own Sai Bennett. She scrubs up alright! We’ve just moved into a new place along the river and I’m super happy.
I’ve also just signed to an agent in London, Spin Agency, I really like and respect the owner Leila, she is a no nonsense sort of person and I’ve been chatting to de-facto in New York.I’m about to do some in house bits for Burberry which I’m really excited about and I’ve also been shooting with Pieter Hanket (who shot lady gaga’s album cover) for blackbook so look out for the next issue, 14 pages of great menswear shot in Milan.

J: If you could be reborn as someone else, who would it be and why?
C: You of course! Ha!
I’m not sure, I don’t really want to say someone in Fashion but I think it would be Ralph Lauren… I love his rise to fame from making ties through to a global brand which is worn by so many.
Or banksy… I love the concept of being so globally well known and successful but yet still keeping your Identity a secret to the general public.

Some of Chris’ favourite images