MILLY designer and founder Michelle Smith tells us about her recent trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy (we’re sure you saw the gorgeous instagrams), and gives us some tips on where to go and what to see! Check it out.
MILLY GOES TO ITALY…
MILLY designer and founder Michelle Smith tells us about her recent trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy (Have you seen her gorgeous Instagram photos?), and gives us some tips on where to go and what to see! Check it out.
As a designer, I’m a visual person so I love traveling to picturesque places for inspiration and relaxation. Beach locations are my favorite, hence my passion for designing MILLY Cabana swimwear, but I also love to take in culture, so Italy has a special place in my heart. The Amalfi Coast is pure eye candy at every turn.
After a flight from New York and a ferry ride from Naples, my family and I pulled into Capri and were instantly blown away by the view. Traveling along the coast of the Mediterranean on the famously steep and narrow cliff-side road with many (scary!) twists and turns, there are spectacular views of cliffs dotted with picturesque villages and luscious green trees - Instagram bait galore!
We started off our days with a typical Italian breakfast - gorgeous fruit and pastries and a steaming cup of caffé e latte is my idea of perfection.Italians do love their coffee - they have it down to an artform.
We start our days off going for a swim, me in my favorite MILLY Lanai bikini and my daughter Sophia in her matching MILLY Minis swimsuit and hit the road to explore the coast.
We love checking out the scenic cliff-side villages - one favorite was the city of Ravello, filled with spectacular churches, gorgeous gardens and quiet, adorable streets. I am lucky enough to have the only children in the world who love to shop so we happily explored the streets.
The Gardens of Villa San Michele to take in the panoramic views of Capri as well as Mount Vesuvius and the Sorrentine Peninsula.
By midday, we’d be craving some water time! heading down to a hotel (I recommend the Hotel Santa Caterina) by the cliffs to take a refreshing swim in crisp blue water of the Mediterranean. Our boat trip in Capri was one of our favorite days of the trip.
Of course, no trip to Italy is complete without sampling endless amounts of gelato. We loved Buonocore Gelateria and visited several times…
Italian cuisine cannot be rivaled - we can highly recommend Terazza Tiberio, Dal Paolino and Il Geranio, lovely people and local specialties.
I included some of my Instagrams of the trip above—check them out!
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.
What Makes It Special:
Michelle Smith’s exclusive winter orchid print features strokes of bold pink florals against black and white tones. The fabric, hand-chosen by Michelle from a high-end Italian mill, is hand-drawn with charcoal and painted with acrylic paints in a fluo shocking pink. A blend of cotton and viscose faille, the fabric is structured and body-skimming but light enough for pre-fall weather.
How to Wear It:
MILLY Winter Orchid Ava gown…turn heads at an evening event. This gorgeous gown will no doubt flatter your figure with its structured bodice and full skirt.
MILLY Winter Orchid dress…this shift dress is easy and effortless. Pair it with the MILLY Perry Frame Clutch and you’re ready to have a fun night out.
MILLY Winter Orchid 3/4 skirt…the trending midi skirt is elegant, timeless, and perfect for the chilly temperatures. Team it with pumps and your legs will look miles long.
MILLY Piper Dress…Flirty meets edgy in this sleeveless dress. The lined bodice and pleated skirt lends a tough spin to the pops of pink.
Want to learn more about prints? Then check out our other Print Studies where you get a behind the scenes look at the prints we love.
We know summer weekends are like gold… and they slip by way too fast. Do your future weekend warrior self a favor and start planning your perfect weekend now with the MILLY Road Trip series. This week’s stop: The Hamptons.
MILLY founder and designer Michelle Smith has spent summer weekends in the Hamptons for the past 17 years, making it the ultimate place to open a MILLY East Hampton beach retreat boutique…Come visit us at 54 Main Street in East Hampton!
Going to see the ballet is one of my favorite NYC activities. Fun fact: my Fall 2014 Runway Show focused on texture, movement and drama inspired by the discipline and beauty of classical dance.
I love attending the American Ballet Theatre’s opening night gala performance because it gives me an opportunity to see snippets of each ballet which will be performed that season. I then mark my favorites, which I will go back to see in full-length.
My ABT selects this season are:
1. Don Quixote: Featuring one of my favorite ballerinas, Maria Kochetkova (follow her on Instagram @balletrusse) as Kitri, I just saw this last night and it was killer.
2. Manon: Featuring music by Jules Massenet and fluid, romantic choreography by Kenneth MacMillan, this ballet is the ultimate tragic love story. It even brought my husband to tears!
3. Nuages: A premiere for the company this season, “Nuages” is a contemporary ballet, choreographed by Jiri Kylian. I’m excited to see this piece added to ABT’s repertoire.
4. Cinderella: I can’t wait to bring my 7 year old daughter to this one for a fun mother/daughter night out! One of the greatest fairy tales, ABT’s Cinderella features choreography by Frederick Ashton and music by Sergei Prokofiev.
Misty Copeland is another one of my favorite ABT dancers — her grace and passion never fail to amaze me. I love following her on Instagram to see what goes on behind-the-scenes at rehearsals.
Mother’s Day always calls for a good time—yesterday’s Mother’s Day Carnival to support Born Free America was the ultimate way to spend the day with my kids and husband. My daughter Sophia couldn’t have been more excited when Idina Menzel invited all of the kids up to the stage to join her in singing Let It Go and my son William was happy as can be to meet New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire. Other activities included face painting by a contributing VOGUE photographer, workshops with actors from The Lion King, yoga with Lululemon, and treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar, just to name a few…
Hosted by Vogue, DVF, Claire Dans, Liya Kebede, John Megrue and Wangechi Mutu, the celebration supports Born Free America, an initiative that aims to end mother-to-child HIV transmission by December 31, 2015. Learn more about the cause here: http://bornfreeafrica.org/.
When art met fun, Frieze Art Fair was born. The must-see international contemporary art fair is in NYC for 4 days—I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek last night so I’m sharing the details with you first…
Featuring works from 28 countries and 190 galleries, the art fair is a spring favorite, where everyone comes out of the woodwork to celebrate contemporary art.
Located on Randall’s Island, seven projects in particular were commissioned just for the occasion (one of which happens to be an interactive row boat experience by artist Marie Lopez).
I kicked off the evening by checking out some extraordinary contemporary artists, like Laurie Simmons, Farhad Moshiri and Kehinde Wiley, while catching up with some of my closest friends.
Scroll through the slideshow to take a look at some of my favorite pieces from Frieze New York 2014.
But the art didn’t stop there…
After the Frieze Art Fair preview, I headed to Highline Stages for the Whitney Art Party, one of my favorite events of the year. The party and silent auction bring together art enthusiasts from all industries in an effort to help support the Whitney’s Independent Study Program and other educational initiatives. DJ Hannah Bronfman and Brandan Fallis turned it up while party attendees admired some seriously statement pieces, like Nick Doyle’s Piano and Curtis Kulig’s Considered An Experience.
In a pre-publicist, pre-paparazzi, pre-Intstagram world back in the 70s and 80s, when there were parties, there was Brad Elterman to capture them.
No stranger to the party scene, he made his mark as a teenage rock ‘n roll photographer who got his start after a photo he took of Bob Dylan became famous.
Elterman was an unassuming kid who got unprecedented access to the luminaries of the time, from The Ramones to Joan Jett to Madonna.
Milk Gallery has the party encapsulated in an exhibition at 450 West 15th Street called Dog Dance, a collection of Brad’s iconic work that captures the gritty glamour of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Catch it from now until May 18 - and remember, never be Sorry for Partying.
Other essentials include a pair of gorgeous Manolo metallic heels that can be worn with everything, bright Butter London nail polish colors (one for your mani, one for your pedi) bangles, a Chanel compact, Dior lip gloss and mascara for touch ups before happy hour. Don’t forget the sunnies!
MILLY founder and designer Michelle Smith reports on her recent trip to the remote island of Petit St. Vincent. You may just need to book a trip…
A vacation in Petit St. Vincent is a (much-needed) escape I take with my husband, Andy, and my two children, Sophia and Will. It’s a week for playing in the sun and sand and family time, away from the city.
After two flights and a boat ride, we arrive at our destination—Petit St. Vincent, located directly below St. Vincent. Not easy to get to, but totally worth it.
Known for its rolling hills and gorgeous beach, surrounded by coral reefs, but what I love most is the privacy—no Internet, TV, or phones. Talk about seclusion!
As soon as we arrive at our airy cottage, the kids can’t wait to change into their swimsuits. We run to the water and enjoy the pristine white sand under our feet. (My daughter Sophia, as the inspiration for my children’s line, MILLY Minis, is wearing her favorite new cover-up while I grab my MILLY Fiji bikini and MILLY Guadas tunic. Meanwhile, my colorblock handbag, which doubles as a beach tote is fully loaded with Kiehl’s SPF 30 and beach toys.) We all head to the water immediately to spend what’s left of the day enjoying the water.
I’m a big believer that some sun, sand, relaxation, and rum punch can cure all winter doldrums. After just a short while in the sun, taking in the salty air and the gentle breeze, I’m already feeling completely relaxed.
The nearby hammock is perfect for lounging. I can’t wait for the snorkeling, excursions, island dinners, and dancing-by-moonlight to come.
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!
Michelle Smith, founder and designer of MILLY, divulges some concoctions to fancy up your flute this season:
A fun cocktail is key to get the holiday party going. I am partial to champagne, but when the night calls for something a bit more fun, a bit more decadent, here are my favorites:
Bellini: Always classic. Always in style. This sublimely sweet drink was invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice as the perfect aperitif. It’s best when made with ripe peaches. If they’re not in season, try crème de peche (peach syrup). Use a 1:4 ratio of peach syrup to prosecco.
Kir Royale: This fancy and beautifully hued cocktail consists of a dash of crème de cassis (currant syrup), topped with champagne. Delicious!
French 75: There are a number of versions of this seriously strong drink, but here’s the one that will start your party off right: add a splash of simple syrup, two splashes of of lemon juice, and an even bigger splash of gin, topped off with a glassful of champagne.
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
I’m not one for perfection. Sure, I love a perfect black dress, or the perfect pair of Manolos. But when it comes to partying, I say the more off-kilter, the better! Here are some tips for throwing that imperfect holiday party…perfectly.
1. Guest List: Invite the young. Invite the old. Mix it up! Anyone with a good story, some deviant behavior and a will to dance is on my guest list!
2. Playlist: I take my party soundtracks very seriously and again, mixing it up seems to be the theme here. I’m all about party songs ranging from The Rolling Stones to Chaka Khan to Salt n’ Pepa for the late night crew!
3. Attire: Sometimes mandatory dressing is the perfect motivation for that holiday scrooge. How about a Studio 54 themed party? I have just the dress!
4. Décor: Combine the traditional with a bit of eccentric glamour. Throw some tinsel on the dinner table, place a party hat at each seat. Tired of the classic flute? How about a straw inside a mini bottle of champagne?
5. Menu: Filet mignon is nice, but when it comes to being perfectly imperfect, it’s all about the unexpected! How about truffled grilled cheese, or individual chicken pot pies? Instead of chocolate mousse, what about make-your-own sundaes? Save the grown up stuff for the cocktails…