Monday night one of my fashion dreams came true. I was invited to a very private viewing of the Milly SS13 Collection at the members only The Arts Club and got the opportunity to both meet and interview the designer, Michelle Smith. I have more pieces of Milly clothing in my closet than any other American designer, and I was just ecstatic to meet Michelle. To declare myself a huge fan of Milly would be an understatement!!!
She personally talked me through each item of the SS13 collection pointing out special details, how she layered textures, the use of digital prints, and the juxtaposition of technical fabrics and couture finishes resulting in a range that is "sports luxe with a twist."
Her signature black and white looks sit alongside bold pieces with color pops that range from neon coral to mint, lapis and punchy citron. You can view the entire collection here.
I then sat down to ask Michelle a few questions:
Where do you find your inspiration each season?
I never know when inspiration will strike; it could be during a vacation, at a movie, in a gallery, I’m just thankful when it does! I start each new season first with a color palette and the fabrics, and from there I allow those to inspire and guide me into a theme. Having the fabrics first, which are sourced all over Europe (from
Italy to France and ), allows me to then start shaping and working on the individual silhouettes. Spain
What was the inspiration for this Spring/Summer 2013 collection?
This collection was born from the concept of surrealism. The inspiration came from two trips I took this year. The first was to
, where I held a fashion show at the American Embassy. During my trip there I visited a museum, which first got me thinking about surrealism and how it is the expression of a dream. Brussels
The second trip was to
to visit one of the mills I use. The owners took me to their country house on the Barcelona Costa Brava, which is a beautiful and unspoiled coastal area that I can only imagine is what St. Tropez was like in the 1950s. Their home had original artwork by Dali and I began to imagine what contemporary surrealism would be like today. I started with the dream-like smoke print and then went in a sporty direction adding reflective accents, laser cuts and trompe l’oeil to the collection.
What is your favorite piece from the SS13 collection?
It would have to be the silver laminated python pencil skirt.
What are the key pieces every woman should have in her closet?
1) A sexy and well-fitted pencil skirt
2) A sheath dress, probably in black so it can take you anywhere
3) A statement coat. When you walk into a room, your coat is the first thing people see and therefore the first statement you make. I always leave a sparkly coat in my office in case I have to go out unexpectedly straight from work. No matter what I have on underneath, it always elevates my whole look.
4) A good tweed jacket. It’s all about classic materials used as a base and then mixed and matched with something more edgy.
5) A great evening gown and a killer cocktail dress.
6) Did I say the classic white shirt? It’s a must!
Do you have any favorite places in
Claridge's for afternoon tea with my 5 year old daughter; it’s the absolute perfect mother/daughter bonding experience.
There is such a great energy in
London, which can especially
be felt throughout the shops and restaurants on Dover Street in Mayfair.
Favorite place in the world to get away?
|The kaleidoscope print dress|
|Michelle sources some of her tweeds from the same mill Chanel uses|
|Pops of bright citron|
|The surrealist smoke print|
|Perfect for channeling The Great Gatsby|
|What We Are Wearing: |
Michelle is in the Leather Trim Sweater and Cleo Petal Skirt.
I am in the Marzia Bow Jacket. All by Milly.