03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Chris Benz: I Love Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, Elizabeth Taylor

Chris Benz may be well known for his hip designs, but his ideas come from perhaps-unlikely sources of inspiration. In an interview with T Magazine Blog, he said he absolutely loves actress Carol Burnett:

I remember watching "The Carol Burnett Show" with my parents as a kid. All those weird outfits she wore, like turtlenecks and long skirts, really stayed in my head. I love that she's kind of goofy and dorky. I actually have a lot of women like that that I love: Phyllis Diller, Elizabeth Taylor, Lily Tomlin. When I was 7 or 8, I wrote fan letters to all of them and I got back personally signed photographs. Except Elizabeth Taylor's -- hers wasn't personally signed, it was a copy.

And he also talked about sharing his love of colors:

I'll do a trunk show and there will be a blond lady who only wears black and I'll say, "Try this yellow dress." And she'll say, "No, I only wear black, I look terrible in yellow.'' And then she'll try it on and her husband's eyes will shoot out of his head. It's a slow process, to encourage people to wear color. But that's O.K. Just try it.

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