You’re all in for a treat - MILLY Exclusives! Check out these fierce MILLY dresses that you can only find exclusively through us, either online or in-store. You can look, but you won’t find these anywhere else…
Sporty kicks are making a comeback, especially when paired with stylish dresses. Case in point: Veronica Ferraro, the Milan-based street style star behind The Fashion Fruit styles the MILLY Coco dress in Italian Orchid print with a bright new pair.
With each collection, Michelle Smith, founder and designer of MILLY designs signature prints that act as roadmaps for the ready to wear season. Here, we give you a behind the scenes look at how a print comes to life.
Where it comes from:
Last year, right after the MILLY FW ’13 runway show, Michelle went on vacation with her family to Hawaii and Japan. There, she was inspired by the colors of the surf and the tradition of florals in Japanese culture. Michelle set out to incorporate the beauty of the seascape into her Spring ’14 collection.
What makes it special:
It’s a print like no other! Hibiscus and other exotic florals intertwine with hues of seafoam and colorblocked cantaloupe and pops of white. If you ask us, it looks like a piece of art. Look familiar? You may have spotted our sea blossom print while flipping through the Spring Fashion issues of major magazines: it’s part of the MILLY Spring ’14 advertising campaign featuring model Loulou Robert.
How to wear it:
You can wear sea blossom six different ways—which is your style?
BEHIND THE SCENES: THE MAKING OF A GOLDEN GLOBES DRESS
Ever wonder what happens in a design studio behind the scenes before award season? We’re lifting the curtain. Michelle Smith, founder and designer of MILLY, created a couture MILLY dress for TV host Sara Gore to wear on the Golden Globes Red Carpet this Sunday on NBC. The challenge? Sara just so happens to be 7 months pregnant… Here, Michelle and Sara give us the inside scoop.
Looking for your own award-show-worthy look? Shop MILLY dressesnow.
MICHELLE: When I was pregnant, I designed my own gown for an event, and later lent to a few pregnant friends—I think it’s still making its way through the NYC event circuit! So designing Sara’s dress for the Golden Globes brought back some good memories—I was honored.
SARA: I’ve been wearing MILLY on-air for years, but it was the first time she designed a dress for me. Feminine yet modern, MILLY suits my fashion personality.
MICHELLE: First, Sara came by the MILLY NYC Boutique where I showed her some options and we talked through color, neckline, and embellishment options. We both agreed that a simple dress in a beautiful color with some slight drapery would be the most flattering silhouette.
SARA: Typically for an awards show, I would tend to go for a fitted gown, it’s hard to know what size you are going to be when you are pregnant, making the Golden Globes Red Carpet a high stakes guessing game! Michelle wanted me to be happy and was very accommodating.
MICHELLE: Once we narrowed down the options, Sara came to the MILLY showroom to test out different color swatches. We debated between pastels and jewel tones, sleeves versus no sleeves. After a few fittings together and ultimately decided on the final look. At the last second, we decided a train would add some drama to the dress. It was such a great experience and I can’t wait to see Sara on the Golden Globes Red Carpet!
SARA: It’s was a dream to work with Michelle. Personally I think we should just design my clothes together from here on out!
Watch Sara Gore live on the Golden Globes Red Carpet tonight, Sunday, January 12th, at 6pm EST for NBC’s “1st Look Live on the Red Carpet” Special.
This week’s episode of Project Runway All-Stars, featured a design challenge filmed at MILLY headquarters. Using MILLY fabrics, the designers were challenged to create a look that both exuded the MILLY feminine-with-an-edge aesthetic, and could retail for under $400 being manufactured in New York City.
With MILLY’s founder and designer, Michelle Smith as a guest judge, Seth Aaron, a Portland-based fashion designer, was chosen the winner of this week’s episode, creating a dress that is now being sold at MILLY, online and in-store, with 100% of the profits going toward Save the Garment Center.
Aaron took a moment to speak with us about the experience:
You’re no stranger to the Project Runway catwalk: as winner of Season 7, you’ve also filled in for Tim Gunn as head casting judge on Season 9. How is Project Runway All Stars different from the first time you competed?
In the regular season, you can tell who the 3 or 4 people you need to watch out for are after filming the first episode, whereas this time around, you have to watch out for everyone. You go and do what you do – I went in there confident in doing my thing and it wasn’t about outdoing someone else – you just have to do your thing and either it works or it doesn’t.
How do you stay cool under pressure? You didn’t have a lot of time to pull the dress together!
My process was to make a list of materials and put that down instead of doing a sketch. I can sketch, but by the time they give us the challenge I already know what it will look like before I make it - I have it in my head. You have very little time- we have 11 hours compared to 18 in the regular season of Project Runway. It’s easier in that you’ve done it before and you know the program, but much harder because you’re given much harder tasks in about half the time.
Tell us about the episode surrounding MILLY. What were the highlights?
The office was amazing. It was such a great experience. It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard about the label - I know all about it – when it was announced we’d be working with MILLY, I was really excited. I’m really into the business end of it and it was a great experience to see the internal workings. When it comes to budgeting down to the penny – I am good at that.
What inspired you to make the dress that ultimately won the prize?
Coming into the MILLY office, seeing the current MILLY collection and the theme—it was the perfect challenge for me to a T. Feminine with an edge is what MILLY is, and that’s what I’m about. I’m very structured. My girls are very confident, strong individuals, but they’re still girls.
You seem to have a business head for fashion – how did that come about?
Being an independent designer, I need to know how to put the cost and materials together. It’s something I’ve worked on. It’s still puzzling, with factories and retailers, how it all works, but it’s interesting to me so it’s fun. In a way, it’s natural. Just like design, it’s something I can always do. I wasn’t taught – I taught myself.
What has the response been from friends & family after seeing the episode?
This time around, not much! I’ve been on TV for awhile, so now it’s fun. And my kids watch it with me every night. They’re teenagers. They get behind it and they travel with me too.
In the past, you’ve been really into sustainable fashion – what’s next for you?
Right now, I need to work on capital. Then I can venture off and explore and do these things. I believe if you keep manufacturing in the United States, then it’s sustainable right there. That really interests me.
I want my label to be like MILLY - I want to support the local Garment District. To be part of saving that is a huge thing for me. I’m honored to say the dress I made on Project Runway All Stars is being sold at MILLY and I contributed to that.