Even amidst the strong talent of Westminster Fashion Design BA 2014 Show, Mary Benson stood out. Inspired by 70s album artwork and Kate Bush, luminous ballgowns glittered with holographic prints of rearing rabbits and rainbows, clouds, hands and stars.
They caught the eye of fashion director Lulu Kennedy, landing her a spot in Fashion East AW15 alongside Ed Marler and fellow newbie Caitlin Price.
But, after just two seasons, Yorkshire-born Benson left the industry. “I was finding it really difficult to put on a show and do everything without funding. So, I just decided to get a pub job even though I knew it was quitting early in a sense.” Benson told becauselondon.com
Now Benson is back, with work as beautiful as ever but with a new rationale: to eschew the punishing hamster wheel of the traditional fashion schedule and sell directly to customers via her website marybensonworld.com
“In my time away, I realised that there isn’t a set way to do things when it comes to designing and creating a collection,” she says. “The traditional seasonal drops weren’t working for the me and I wanted to create something fun, so I decided to work on my own e-commerce site.”
So here is Benson 2.0: luminous unisex tracksuits, screen-printed t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, covered in signature kaleidoscopic prints, inspired by Japanese kimonos, healing crystals, Egyptian Goddesses, stained glass art and Benson’s own prolific illustrative archive.
Small runs, the rejection of the systems and beliefs of fast fashion, and – most of all – vibrant, beautiful clothes: welcome to marybensonworld.com
The new Mary Benson World collection launches today and is available at MaryBensonWorld.com
Prices from £65 for a t-shirt to £260 for a jacket. Vinyl options range from £85 for a t-shirt to £680 for a 100 per cent silk jacket.