Playtime with This Woman’s Work by Kendra Benson

When I see a piece of clothing, the two things I think are: 1) what is that supposed to look like on someone, and 2) will it look like that on me?

I met Kendra Benson through Jenny Lai (whose pieces I featured here: NOT by Jenny Lai)  in early March and quickly fell in love with her collection. Kendra Benson is a Brooklyn, NY based designer who has created pieces from a mix of fabrics, trims, hand-screened prints, natural fibers, and found objects that are all compiled based on the narrative of the collection.

Kendra currently has three different collections: Japonica, Padam Padam, and American Odyssey.  Each inspired by different concepts but all made from a myriad of materials and techniques.

When trying and playing with each of her pieces, I was happy to find that the sentiment that she was looking to portray through each of the pieces resonated with me as well.  It was hard to avoid the beautiful vintage vibe that was conveyed through the American Odyssey pieces, and I could feel the sultry, provocative vibe from the long Padam Padam skirt.  It was so hard to stop dancing in it.

I’m very fortunate to have been able to play and dance with some of her pieces at The Art Gallery of Ontario (beautiful space to check out if you haven’t been!).  Instagram posts from my playtime are displayed below.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Ever think of how people from the past might wear their clothing today? Kendra Benson’s American Odyssey collection features her perspective on what characters from the 50s and 60s might have worn on a current day road trip. This particular co-ord (two piece) from this collection is lightweight, maintains its beautiful structure no matter how you move, and can be paired with your preferred heels or flats 👠👟 #thatfloatingfeeling💫

Different perspective, same pant 😻 These pants make me feel like a flower and are so easy to pair with a fitted top or crop #ifflowersmoved🌸

Another beautiful piece from Kendra’s American Odyssey collection. This top maintains a vintage aesthetic with a bright print that says spring all over it 💐 Pencil skirts, slacks, or jeans can all be worn with this lovely piece…preferably not all at the same time 🤔 #anythinggoes

Inspired by the music and life of Edith Piaf, Kendra’s Padam Padam collection is an ode to everything French, dark, sinister, romantic, esoteric, and provocative. Once this vibrant skirt was zipped, it became difficult to stand still #spinspinsugar 💃🏽

A moment when Kumar Sokka caught me standing still 💃🏽 This beautiful Padam Padam skirt works well with cropped, fitted or boxy tops that don’t go past the hip. Try one in a peach or maroon color to enhance this stunning print #instahusband

Last but not least is another amazing American Odyssey skirt. Following the same lightweight aesthetic as other pieces in this collection, this skirt is amazingly comfortable and the ties on the side can be tightened or loosened to allow the skirt to move with you. Thank you, Kendra, for allowing me to play with pieces from your inspiring collections! #tillnexttime 🙏🏽

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