Fashion / Style

Fashion Designer’s Ha Ha Moment Goes Beyond the Michelle Obama Love: Bringing the Color and Neon to Fashion Week

BY // 10.15.18
photography Dan Lecca

NEW YORK — Shoppers who love colorful styles — and most Texans do — have a lot to be giddy about as designers at New York Fashion Week unveiled a host of vibrant shades for next spring and summer. Leading the pack is Milly founder and designer Michelle Smith, whose neon-tinged collection is so bright that you practically had to wear shades to view it.

Smith, who received a lot of attention earlier this year for creating the colorblock poplin gown that Michelle Obama wore in her official portrait, called her latest collection “Metamorphosis,” noting that her designs reflect the changes “taking place within you, ready to break out and shine.

“It’s about evolving into any stage of your life. And it’s exciting and vibrant and about embracing life.”

Backstage, in a video interview with HOLA!, Smith pointed out a color-splashed dress “that’s made from literally a rectangle and I’ve taken that and draped it on the body in different ways, so you see this very pure form and how it metamorphosizes into different dresses and different moods.

“You’ll see a lot of high energy in the collection, very energetic color pattern, with neons and metallics. It’s definitely looking to the future.”

The collection has a fluid vibe with loose, flowing dresses in neon shades of hot pink, green, yellow and blue, along with a variety of styles in form-fitting futuristic metallic silver fabric. Milly also jumps on the athleisure trend with oversized nylon parkas, mesh track pants and sweatshirts in eye-popping colors.

Even with all the edgy looks, the more conservative tailored jackets in pastel pink or white will likely be among the collection’s big sellers because they’re so versatile.

Some of the looks were punctuated by T-shirts and oversized sweatshirts emblazoned with such pop culture phrases as “HA, HA, HA” and “LOVE LOVE LOVE” in a 1970s-style font. Smith teamed with artist Tara Lewis  to create the limited edition looks, which were intended to be ironic in these troubled times.

“It’s a little personal message. Like, ‘Haha! I’m going to rise above,’ ” Smith told the art and luxury lifestyle magazine Whitewall.

“That’s why I love the T-shirts we made, because they send messages that are inclusive and universal. And anyone can wear the apparel. Everybody can ‘HA, HA, HA’ their own way. I know that I text it sometimes, but I don’t really mean it.

“We laugh. It’s really an uplifting thing and can be defined different ways from different people,” Lewis explained.

Milly’s Michelle Smith will make a personal appearance in Houston at Tootsies “Sips & Style Tips” this Wednesday, October 17  from 10 am to noon.

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