With the MILLY Fall ‘14 runway show quickly approaching (it’s tomorrow!) we’re giving you a behind the scenes look at the collection…because we love you!
Click through the slideshow to get the inside view before the looks hit the runway.
This season, the Fall ‘14 collection is all about luxurious layers, texture and shine. Cracked metallic and dot embossed leather, tulle and statement chevron fringe details add edge to modern silhouettes.
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.
Michelle Smith, founder and designer of MILLY, tells us about one of her favorite style icons, Jean Seberg, leading up to the re-release of the French New Wave film Breathless on Blu-Ray this winter.
I first saw Jean Luc Goddard’s Breathless at the Film Forum in New York City when I was a 19 year-old fashion student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Breathless is iconic in so many ways- especially from a style perspective.
It is hard to take your eyes off Patricia, played by Jean Seberg. Her effortlessly cool, gamine, left-bank style never goes out of style, even 50 years after the initial release. I can pick out French New Wave influences in my designs, from a classic graphic tee with the sleeves rolled up to slim cut tapered pants rolled above the ankles.
Experiencing Breathless is a rite of passage for any teen with fashion aspirations. As the first of the “French New Wave” genre, the film was shocking, cool and fresh.
Haven’t seen it? Pre-order it now or watch it on your holiday break!
Using ethereal textures like featherweight fur and lace along with gradient hues of black, charcoal, ballet pink and orchid to create a dramatic effect. Oversize gold zippers punctuate lightweight leather skirts and dresses.
It’s impossible to pick favorites, but some standout statement pieces include a faille midi skirt with a painted and hand-drawn print, a bonded crepe feather trim jacket, and a fil coupe gown with hand-cut fringe.
MILLY founder and designer Michelle Smith shares her gifting philosophy…
When it comes to gift giving, I try to be as original as possible while still keeping the “giftee” in mind. I love mixing high and low. The greatest gift isn’t always the most expensive one. Here are some of my picks for your favorite culture fiend, the social butterfly and everyone in between, these gifts are always crowd-pleasers.
The new Gagosian shop on Madison Avenue in NYC offers an exclusive selection of books, monographs, and limited edition products like portfolios by Ed Ruscha and even a surfboard designed by Richard Phillips. On my list: photographers Inez and Vinoodh’s new coffee table book, “Pretty Much Everything.”
For the social butterflies on your list, I designed a limited edition collection of stationery, the MILLY for Dempsey & Carroll collection. Your fun-loving friends will treasure the “Sorry for Partying” notecards, while your mother might prefer the silver zig-zag and your hostess with the mostess sister will appreciate the classic banana leaf.
A little pampering makes a great gift for just about anyone. Who doesn’t love a massage? At the Great Jones Spa, the treatments are fantastic, and a bonus comes in the form of a relaxing water lounge where guests can chill all day
Here at MILLY, we take the holidays very seriously, which means we spend a lot of time dreaming up the perfect gifts to give everyone in your life, from your Secret Santa at work to your life-long BFF.
Michelle has curated her favorites from the MILLY Holiday Gift guide to make things easy. Get shopping! (From top left to right)
Your wildest friend will flip over our new stationery collection. We’d like to think you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a shoutout on Instagram stating, “Best. Gift. Ever.” Shop the entire collection here.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: WHERE TO EAT (AND WHAT TO WEAR)
5 reservations to make this holiday season while the locals are out of town…
If there’s one thing I love (other than fashion), it’s food! Nothing makes me happier than sitting around a table at a delicious meal with my family and friends. Fortunately, New York has no shortage of must-try restaurants popping up all over the place. Whether you’re uptown, downtown, or somewhere in between here is my list of new restaurants to try. Better book now!
1. OMAR’S. This invite-only supper club is tucked below Omar’s La Ranita restaurant in Greenwich Village. Think cavernous and sexy, with a white marbled bar and mirrored walls. Very Art Deco. If you’re lucky enough to get in, you’ll be too busy people-watching to care about the food. (21 W 9th Street)
2. EAST POLE. From the team behind Lower East Side’s Fat Radish, which I love, is uptown’s coolest new restaurant. It has the same farm-to-table vibe as its downtown sibling but with an elevated ambience and menu. (133 E 65th Street)
3. BUBBY’S HIGH LINE. This standby Tribeca brunch spot is a favorite among families, and one bite of the famous buttermilk biscuits, you’ll know why. Now, a brand new offshoot is opening near the High Line, and is sure to be as popular as the original. Tip: go early or late, or be prepared to wait! (71 Gansevoort Street)
4. PARK AVENUE WINTER. This restaurant changes its design, not just the menu, with the seasons. Winter is decorated with elongated birch branches, raw leathers and white washed woods. The menu pays homage to the owner’s travels to Antarctica. Book a table for a holiday dinner with your girlfriends to get in the spirit.
5.LE BILBOQUET. Upper East Side, rejoice! This French staple near Madison Avenue is back on the scene, literally, after closing briefly and leaving many Manhattanites and tourists with sad, empty glasses of rosé. The new space is the double in size, but the bistro favorites and raucous “Sunday Funday” brunch remains the same. (20 E 60th Street)
Now that New York Fashion Week is wrapped, I’m getting started on my next collection. No time for rest! I’m headed straight to Paris for Premiere Vision, an international fabric show. Now, time to pack.
Here’s my guide to blending in while in Paris—this season, I’m all about the leather.