The big moment is here! In our final episode of One of a Kind: Milly, our winner Laura receives her one-of-a-kind Milly handbag that designer Michelle Smith created just for her. But what Laura doesn't know is that we have several other surprises in store for her. Let's just say she's getting a few other treats, including a dedicated photo shoot! Watch on to see the entire journey unfold.
We're taking you inside Milly's design studio in this edition of One of a Kind! Our winner Laura flew all the way from San Diego to the fashion capital, New York City, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Michelle Smith, the designer of her favorite brand, Milly. Watch as Laura sits down with the designer and finds out that she will be getting her very own, one-of-a-kind bag designed just for her!
We are excited to announce our next One of a Kind series starring designer and Milly founder Michelle Smith! Michelle has dressed everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Victoria Beckham to Beyoncé in the iconic brand known for its exquisite colors and prints, and now she wants to style you! We are giving away a trip to NYC, where you'll get one-on-one fashion advice from the designer and come away with a one-of-a-kind look courtesy of Michelle herself. Entering is simple; click here and describe your favorite outfit and why it showcases your one-of-a-kind style. Good luck!
"I think we're going to like it here!" Annie isn't just making an impression on little girls with its current Broadway run. Grown-up fans are getting in on the fun, too. Earlier this week, we caught up with Milly designer Michelle Smith, who recently joined forces with the cast of the Broadway musical for a mother-daughter fashion show at her Madison Avenue boutique. Michelle's line of luxurious and fun womenswear has been around since 2001, and in Spring 2011, she introduced Milly Minis for girls ages 2-14. The designer and mom to 6-year-old Sophia dished about the balance of creating childrenswear that's fun, functional, and, of course, fashionable.
LilSugar: We're huge fans of Milly Minis here at LilSugar! Tell us about the process for designing for little girls as opposed to women.
Michelle Smith: Friends and colleagues had been begging me for years to create a Milly children's collection. The Milly Minis collection began with some of the classic Milly styles that I always thought would be great for children. The Milly Minis aesthetic mirrors the Milly women's ready-to-wear collection, and they are made from the finest European fabrics — however, I keep the cuts modest and innocent.
LS: Does being a mom influence and/or inspire the way you design for kids?
MS: Being a mom definitely helps to understand what kids clothes should be like. Kids love clothes that are playful, easy-to-wear, and fun, and they also have to stand up to all of the playing and running and jumping kids do in a day!
LS: Tell us about your little girl Sophia's sense of style — does she wear what you put on her, or prefer to concoct her own outfits?
MS: Sophia has been coming to my design studio since before she could walk, and she has always loved playing with Milly fabrics and trims. Sophia loves anything and everything with sparkly fabric — at 5, she already has a distinct sense of what she likes.
LS: Do you design with Sophia in mind?
MS: Yes, my daughter was my true inspiration for the collection. Sophia was even my fit model in the beginning! As a womenswear designer, I was so excited to have a baby girl who I could dress up in my designs. Overall, it was a natural progression to translate Milly's signature bold prints and spirited aesthetic to childrenswear.
LS: What are the top wardrobe staples that every little girl should have in her closet?
MS: Girls just want to have fun, and I think that their wardrobes should reflect that. Every little girl should have a party dress that makes them want to dress up, a statement coat for Winter, and an adorable swimsuit for vacations.
Milly's girl got a techy twist — bold photo prints, citron tweed, and clear-goggle-inspired specs distinguished Michelle Smith's set for Spring and set the tone for the season's coolest kind of dress code. It's a sexier spin than we're used to seeing from Milly, rife with shocks of color, body-conscious scuba-style dresses, and high-wattage metallics. Still, when Smith takes on tighter silhouettes, like her pencil skirts and minidresses, she counters with hooded toppers (some finished in fresh tweeds) or an anorak layered up over top. At first glance, it's just flat-out cool, but you quickly see how Smith's smart contrasts are repositioning terms like "sexy" and "sporty." She crafts a track jacket in pearlized organza, for starters, and takes on girlier full skirts and even the pencil skirt with a kind of technical precision that makes us stop to consider the details at work: python-embossed textures, fluid trousers, and a buzz-worthy palette. It's the kind of collection that will get a girl noticed — for all the right reasons.
- Trends: Athletic-inspired details, mesh, tweed, neon, colorblocking, photo prints, and tropical floral prints.
- Colors: White, black, pink citron, blue, turquoise, and silver.
- Key Piece: If you're not one for body-con silhouettes, then look to Milly's printed halter and citron trousers.
- Accessories: Clear, goggle-like specs; Manolo Blahnik cutout heels; pointed-toe, ankle-strap pumps; and sleek, zippered clutches.
- Who Should Wear It: Young Hollywood types who like their sexy looks with a sporty edge, like Jessica Alba, Jamie Chung, and Jordana Brewster.
Michelle Smith showed a fun collection brimming with color and cool techno fabrics for Milly's Fall line. The results? A prim and polished collection injected with modern fabrics and a bit of edge. Tweed dresses were given a shiny finish thanks to a high-tech laminated finish, while full leather skirts lent a feminine feel. A wide array of cocktail-ready dresses were the main focus, ranging from scalloped hemlines to strapless neon and lace confections. Standout pieces included a brilliant metallic purple skirt paired with a textured dotted jacket and a red patent leather funnel-neck coat. More details from Milly's ladylike cool collection below.
- Trends: Techno fabrics, embellished collars, full skirts.
- Colors: Cobalt, green, black, hot pink, chartreuse, purple, red.
- Key Piece: The laminated tweed dresses were simultaneously fresh and feminine.
- Accessories: Shearling clutches, satchel bags, opera gloves.
- Who Would Wear It: In addition to front row attendees Tinsley Mortimer and Kristin Chenoweth, we can also envision Upper East Side personalities, like Blair Waldorf, wearing some of these pieces.