Chris Benz Spring 2011

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Every season, Chris Benz shows one of my favorite bright technicolor collections of NYFW. This season, I was lucky enough to see his creations first hand, thanks to my friends at Styled On. You may have already seen some of these images in my photo diary. But I thought I’d share even more behind the scenes shots here!

I arrived about an hour and a half before the presentation was scheduled to begin. Most of the models were in the midst of having their hair and makeup done.

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Gorgeous purple polish!

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Makeup: Daniel Martin for Lancome. Nails: Sunshine Outing for Lancome. Hair: John Ruidant for Redken.

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A finished look.

One of my favorite things about being backstage is being able to familiarize yourself with the collection. To see it right in front of you, and even touch it with your own hands. You can miss so much of a look watching it dash down a runway.

You see everything.
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Taking a break before the show.

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Chris checking the progress backstage.

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Making adjustments.

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Not only is Chris an amazing talent, he’s super nice.

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Models waiting to go to their places for the presentation.

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I still can’t get over how amazing these two cardigans are. So so beautiful!

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Squeezing in some quick look book shots.

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Almost ready!

When the presentation started, there were about three minutes of calm, then boom!– It was packed.
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Everyone there was gushing over how gorgeous the collection was.

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I personally enjoy Chris’ clothing because for spring, it combines the best of retro fashion, with new modern sensibilities. Classic fabrics are updated with bright colors, and florals never look dowdy or out of date. It’s just FUN!

Celebrities also love Chris! His presentation had one of the best celeb turnouts of any I attended all week:
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Gossip Girl’s Jessica Szohr. Not pictured: her awesome wooden heel shoes by United Nude

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Denise Richards. I swear she doesn’t age!

Carmen Electra at Chris Benz
Carmen Electra in Chris Benz.

Kelly Osbourne and Susan Sarandon
Kelly Osbourne and Susan Sarandon.

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Susan. Her daughter Eva is one of Chris’s best friends, but was reportedly out of town for the show.

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The packed David Rubenstein Atrium!

See the full photo set here.

I’m Your Biggest Fan, I’ll Follow You Until You Love Me: Gossip Girl Set Report # 5

So, my GagaXGossip Girl post is a little late. I ended up grabbing lunch with a friend from back in PRE-SCHOOL which turned into banana pudding at Magnolia, to tea at another friends, to margaritas, to empanadas to go. It’s been a crazy 24hours. But now I am back, and full of set report goodness.

Yesterday, I traveled down to the LES filming location of Gossip Girl after hearing rumors of Lady Gaga finally filming her guest appearance on the show. Leighton Meester confirmed the rumor while guesting on the Ryan Seacrest show.  So there were twice as many fans lurking about as the last time I went to the set since the cold weather arrived. (I never made a post, but I went to the Tribeca set last week to see the cast filming at Brandy Library. By far the worst set experience I’ve had. It was a total waste of time. I saw Chace Crawford and his mom for 2.5 seconds, then nothing. No photos. No info.)

I ended up waiting hours in the cold, so long I could barely feel my feet after. But throughout the afternoon and evening I saw Hilary Duff, Penn Badgley, Jessica Szohr, Leighton Meester, and also on set for about 5 minutes total–Taylor Momsen. It was starting to get dark shortly after I first arrived on set. Once the cast actually emerged to leave and/or take a break, it was dark and dingy out. I hadn’t planned on staying so long, so I unfortunately did not have my flash. So here are the (few) good photos from Tuesday’s set.

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Hilary Duff heading to her trailer for a break from filming.

Hilary Duff: Gossip Girl Set 10/13/09

Hilary Duff: Gossip Girl Set 10/13/09

Hilary Duff: Gossip Girl Set 10/13/09

Hillary Duff: Gossip Girl Set 10/13/09

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Leighton heading home.

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The cast was filming what looked to be a concert or night club scene at a LES arts center. The inside was lit with bright blue and green lights, and covered in sparkly backdrops. Very similar to what you’d expect at an “under the sea” themed dance. According to the crew, this episode is # 3×10, entitled “The Last Days of Disco Stick”, and will air on November 16th.

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Jessica, hidden.

After a short period of not seeing any cast members emerge, the crew began tearing down the set. Shortly after, security brought luggage out to Gaga’s car, and began to “secure the perimeter”. After waiting for hours, Gaga finally emerged around 10:30pm. She stopped to sign a few autographs and pose for photos with 2 fans, then drove away. It was short and sweet, but despite the cold, worth the long wait. Here is my view of Gaga leaving the scene:


It’s amazing how fast this video has made it’s way around the internet!

I spent more time waiting around on set than I ever have previously. But I met some of the nicest fans yet. So many people spent time chatting about the show. And I even learned some tips from a few fellow photographers. Thank You everyone who made the wait go by even faster! If you were there, please comment and share your story!

As always: On Location Vacations is THE BEST and most accurate site on the internet for location info. There are a lot of impostors popping up, but they usually just steal their info! I check OLV and twitter daily for the latest updates.  If you’d like to catch Gossip Girl this Friday, head to 55th st and 2nd ave via the filming info here.

All photos and video ®2009 RS/The Greyest Ghost

My (Unofficial) First Day of Fashion Week

Today I:

1. Got up super early (to me anyway) to attend a meet and greet with a super talented and smart designer, who I’ll be posting about tomorrow.

2. Got lost on the way to the Rachel Antonoff show. For 20 minutes. Almost lost my cool, but made it with out missing anything.

3. Had 1 slice of pizza, 2 glasses of champagne, and 1 chocolate filled marshmallow for dinner.

4. Went to the Anna Sui for Target party. Where I ran into Michelle Trachtenberg and Jessica Szohr, hung out with some of Anna’s awesome e-commerce staffers, and met the cutest human ever, Emma Stone (of Superbad).

5. Met Anna Sui. Her friend took a photo of us:

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(Guessing she didn’t really know how to use my camera, so it’s blurry. But it’s still really cute!)

6. Penn Badgley definitely hates me. He gave me the evil eye when I took his photo. For the 2nd time this year.

7. Decided it’s Converse and gladiator flats from here on out.

8. Met the world’s most talkative “photographer/blogger” uploading his party photos in starbucks. He told me “Annie Leibovitz steals his photos, he makes $28,000 a photo when people illegally use them, and he runs 80 blogs”. Total nutter.

9. Had an AMAZING first day. Probably going to bed before 11pm for the first time since I was 12.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the story behind #1, and links to my new PHOTO FILLED ChiChi212 posts about the Rachel Antonoff show and Anna Sui for Target party!

Gossip Girl Set Report #4: Gramercy Park

Monday I paid a visit to the Gramercy Park set of Gossip Girl, and ended up photographing some of the best cast appearances yet! Usually when I’ve gone, only a few cast members at a time are on set. But this time, I hit the jackpot! And ended up meeting some amazing fellow fans in the process.

I hit the set right after lunch time. Within about 15 minutes of arriving, Leighton Meester came out of her trailer.

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And then came and went. Again, and again. So many times I got confused where she was.
She was followed by Jessica Szohr, who looked beautiful as always!
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Not long after, Penn Badgley appeared, but quickly ran into his trailer and ended up not leaving for an hour or two.
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I’m not really sure what was going on, as all of the filming was being done indoors in a museum of some sort (supposedly subbing as an NYU building). But nearly all of the cast came in and out many times!

Also seen were Kelly Rutherford (who is gorgeous, and amazingly nice!), Matthew Settle, and Ed Westwick:
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And finally, after hours of waiting, Hilary Duff!
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While I was waiting, I met the show’s #1 fans, this group of sisters!
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What cuties!

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The Pretty Reckless @ Hiro Ballroom

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Taylor Momsen and friend

Last night I headed over to Hiro Ballroom to celebrate Taylor Momsen’s 16th Birthday, and catch her band, The Pretty Reckless, perform.

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The show started a bit late, so my friends Hillary, Krystle and I sat down to wait. Within 2 minutes, Ed Westwick and Jessica Szohr walked in. The VIP attendant didn’t seem to know who they were, and Ed became visibly flustered. But within a minute or two, everything was rectified and they were let upstairs.

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When Taylor came on stage, the crowd went wild. It was hard to even see the band, there were so many people crowding the stage, and so many hands in the air with cameras.

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I snapped a few pics before receiving a text from Hillary saying that the VIP area was now open and unguarded and she was “standing next to Chuck Bass”. We proceeded upstairs to meet her, and ended up standing right behind Jessica Szohr, who once again kindly posed for photos. After a few minutes, I felt a gentle push on my handbag and heard a voice say “Sorry Love”. I looked up and saw Ed Westwick squeezing past me! I have to say, his accent is dreamy. I tried to play it cool, and not act star struck since we were in a public place standing three feet apart, and not on set or anything. But it was hard. He stood right in front of us for the majority of the night!

The three of us watched the show, and ended up meeting Michelle Trachtenberg in the process. She seemed a little annoyed to be bothered by fans , but I don’t really blame her. It happens.

We saw Ed and Jessica chatting with friends, and kissing and acting affectionate to each other. Despite what the tabloids might say, the two are definitely still together. I asked Jessica as they were leaving if I could snap a photo of the two of them, but she said no.

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Ed with Hillary earlier in the night. He’s so handsome, he broke my camera flash! I think he thought I was mental, trying to fix it. He also asked who I worked for, and why I had such a large camera!

After the show, Taylor appeared and was swarmed by fans! I couldn’t even life my arms to take photos, it was so crowded! Hillary and I managed to get a photo with Taylor on my disposable camera. (I would have dropped it off on my way home, but oh wait, Duane Reade no longer develops FILM./End Rant) I asked her about twitter, and she said she doesn’t have one, and suspects a friend is impersonating her! I also had her sign my copy of Page Six Magazine’s Gossip Girl issue, and talked with her about the shoot. She said it was one of the most fun she’d been on, and remembered hanging in the trailer with her mom and I!
Matthew Settle was also there, and posed for some photos with Taylor. The onscreen father/daughter duo were beyond cute together in real life! We managed to snag a photo with Matthew too, who was seriously soooooooo nice. He gave us hugs, and signed my magazine as well. Twice actually, since the first time I forgot to uncap the sharpie! I told him that he and Taylor were my favorite cast members, and the best to meet in person, which really made him smile. I also spoke with a few of the other members of Pretty Reckless, who said they weren’t sure when their next show would be due to Taylor’s filming schedule. They are definitely worth checking out in the future next time they go on tour!

I think it was great that Taylor decided to celebrate her birthday with her friends and fans. Awesome of some of the other cast members to show up to support her too! (Chase Crawford was supposedly there, hiding. But I sadly missed him!) I’m happy for my friends as well, since they got to meet some of their favorite celebs. So cute seeing them get all excited! Tonight was my first time at Hiro Ballroom (which is gorgeous btw) and definitely a place I will be going back to in the future!

More photos of Taylor and the rest of the cast after the jump!
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Gossip Girl Set Report: #2

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After seeing yesterday’s paparazzi photos of nearly the entire Gossip Girl cast on location at Sotheby’s, I decided to try my luck once again at scoping out the set. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather and/or completion all of the outdoor scenes Wednesday, they were not filming when I arrived. I met some younger fans who let me know that Matthew Settle and Penn Badgley had passed them on their way to lunch, and should be returning any minute. So I decided to hold out. After about a half hour Jessica Szohr appeared, and stopped to chat with myself and the 4 other fans waiting outside of Sotheby’s. She posed for a few photos and kindly asked how we were before heading back inside to resume filming.

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Next Penn came by, but after being asked to snap photos told his fans that “if you wait long enough I might come back out”. The 4 teenage girls waiting were not impressed. Penn/Dan is definitely not on my favorite gossip girl characters list after witnessing him dissing his fans not once, but twice in the same week. The first time was excusable, considering the size of the crowd. But to not stop for photos with four fans made him seem a little too good for them. (Edit: I’d like to clarify for all the angry Penn Badgley fan girls: no one was screaming his name, or yelling, or chasing. He was nicely asked to pose for photos with 4 fans, and declined. He did chat with us, but refused to stop. He didn’t seem to be running late either, as the other cast returned to set 10+ minutes after he did.) I guess I should feel lucky he looked me in the eye this time when I spoke. I’ve got news for you buddy: you’re no Ed Westwick!

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One bad apple didn’t ruin the bunch however, as soon Michelle Trachtenberg appeared, followed closely by Matthew Settle– AKA Rufus Humphrey (who you can see behind Michelle in the photos). They were both too busy to stop, but Matthew said hi, and seemed happy to be acknowledged. Michelle just seemed sort of scared, and tried to hide behind her book after noticing me shooting photos. Sadly, she’s usually very standoffish, and never that friendly anyway. I didn’t catch any of the other lead characters, but was so giddy after meeting Jessica Szohr, I didn’t care. I will admit it: I’m a 27 year old fan girl of a show about teenagers. But I’m not the first, and I’m sure I won’t be the last.

If you’d like to catch the cast filming this week, according to On Location Vacations : Gossip Girl is filming at Sotheby’s (72nd and York, NYC) again Friday July 24th. They may be doing more exteriors in the afternoon.

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See more photos after the jump!
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XOXO Gossip Girl

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Today I decided to take advantage of my free time, and spent the afternoon on the SoHo set of one of my favorite guilty pleasure tv shows, Gossip Girl. I watched Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, The Key Michelle Trachtenberg, Jessica Szohr, Dorota (!) and newcomer Chris Riggi (playing Scott Ronsson AKA Lily and Rufus’ love child) film scenes from the second episode of the upcoming third season. Upon my arrival, the first scene was with Blair and Georgina, outside of indie bookstore McNally Jackson, on Prince Street. Then the production moved a few blocks down to film at some type of brick apartment or school building. Possibly an “NYU classroom” or dorm (Since all of the characters present will be attending NYU in the fall).

Some of the younger crowd members actually chased the cast when they moved from set to set, or walked back to their trailer. It was pretty embarrassing. By not acting like a total jackass, I was able to befriend some of the crew, and get a prime viewing spot while they filmed. I later was even allowed to cross the street and stand about a foot off set/in the middle of the catering tables to shoot some photos, because I was making friendly conversation with two grips working the shoot. I was seriously amazed how many people I saw disregarding the production crew’s “rules”, and ended up being chased away. You get a lot more out of a set visit when you’re nice to the people working 16hour days to help produce your favorite TV shows. I even ended up getting to quickly meet Penn Badgley (who was sort of aloof, and didn’t really make eye contact with his fans) thanks to the nice crew woman who let me stand by the catering tables. I’ll be going back to watch Gossip Girl (and other movies or tv shows) film again as soon as possible, thanks to the great experience I had today! And special thanks to On Location Vacations for posting the filming info!

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