Alongside Tory Burch and Kate Spade, Milly is the blow-out set’s go-to label for a classic, but fashion aware wardrobe. We caught up with Milly’s founder and designer, Michelle Smith at the Upper East Side’s Mark Hotel to hear how she’s coping with the pressures of New York Fashion Week.
Grazia Daily: How have preparations for your show on Wednesday going so far?
Michelle Smith: Honestly I’m so calm and everything is running so smoothly this season – in fact so smooth it's making me feel superstitious – something has to go wrong! The weather, of course has been a bit of a snafu and it was just Chinese New Year too. A lot of my seamstresses are Chinese, so I had to factor their celebrations in with my deadlines. We put them up in a hotel to make sure they got to their parties – I mean without their work the collection doesn’t happen.
Grazia Daily: What are your top New York Fashion Week survival tips?
Michelle Smith: Firstly use a lot of moisturiser. I actually use Clinique’s Dramatically Different. I always break out over fashion week so my mom gave me this tube of cream – called the Terminator! It really works. I also have a special power juice that I swear by. It's made from a whole lemon, carrots, kale, green apples, beets and ginger. I drink one a day to help me get through the long hours.
Grazia Daily: What can we expect from your new collection? Any hints?
Michelle Smith: I’m always looking to re-define classics and this season I'm really excited about the new sporty suit – a pencil skirt teamed with a cropped sweater. It sounds strange but when you see them together it really works. I'm also really excited about holographic finishes and the incredibly buttery soft leather I'm working with for this collection. I’m always about taking those staples up a notch and adding a fashion edge.
Stars wearing Milly
Grazia Daily: What is the thing you love/hate most about fashion week?
Michelle Smith: I love the energy of the city. I mean New York is always energised but over fashion week it's even more elevated. I actually also really thrive on the pressure of show time – the closer it gets, the better I work. I hate the personalities that you get in fashion. Some people take everything so seriously that it becomes not fun. I mean it is not life and death, it should be a fun experience.
Grazia Daily: Which A-lister have you been most happy to see wearing your cothes and who would you love to dress?
Michelle Smith: Seeing Beyoncé wearing my clothes was a great moment. Especially as she had been in store to buy them herself and it wasn’t through a stylist or a fashion connection. She is so amazingly talented and accomplished. I think it would be fun to dress the Girls girls for an event – the show is so New York right now, it's tapped into something and it's so raw. And Id love to dress all of their different personalities. We did a lot of costuming for Gossip Girl and we have had pieces featured already in the Carrie Diaries. But Id love to do something with Girls.
Grazia Daily: If you had free reign what would you dress the Duchess of Cambridge in?
Michelle Smith: Catherine has already worn Milly, but if I had the choice, I'd put her in something a bit more edgy. I’ve got a hologram embossed luxe pencil with a well-cut sweater in the new collection that would look incredible. It would be great to break the mould.
Grazia Daily: Which S/S 2013 trends do you love and which would you never be seen dead in?
Michelle Smith: I definitely love all the sports inspired looks for spring – that fresh, athletic look can't be beaten. After two children I will definitely not be wearing all the crop tops that are everywhere. Really, those days are long gone!