NYFW: “Illumination” Milly by Michelle Smith – Fall/Winter 2013


(Designer Michelle Smith on right)

The Fall 2013 Milly collection takes an edgy turn sure to be admired. “Illumination” is the term used to describe the overall theme for this stunning collection, inspired by the beauty of urban landscapes at night with a strong focus on texture. The use of innovative fabrics such as metallic fringe taffeta, embossed leathers, and luxurious hardware brings a bold new look with an angle of modernity.

The hairstyle for this show was a messy ponytail with lots of texture. Each model was given a low ponytail, wrapped with clear rubber bands that were then covered with a strand of hair for a chic finish. Lightly pull some hair over the ear, tousle the ponytail a bit and voilá! Key hair stylist Kevin Ryan uses Aveda Phomillient Styling Foam and Expanda Dust Volumizing Powder by Unite to give some “umph” at the roots. He suggests powders and dry shampoos, like Psssssst Instant Dry Shampoo, as great tools to create this look for yourself at home. “I especially love Unite’s Expanda powder because it keeps the hair from getting greasy, no Jersey Shore look here!” Kevin says this is a great product for men as well because it gives a softer look than gel while keeping hair in place. According to Frank Rizzieri, lead hair stylist for Aveda, Michelle Smith wanted to keep the clothes and handbags the main focus of the show and keep hair and make-up natural, as if “the model did her own hair”. He explains the natural, toned-down look has been a common trend amongst most American fashion designers this season.

Key make-up artist Romy Soleimani and the MAC team created a beautiful dewy look to complement the simple hairstyle. Romy was inspired by what she calls “pretty grunge”; using MAC Matte Gloss on cheeks and lips for a fresh look. Romy also uses Haute & Naughty Mascara by MAC, which is a two-in-one mascara that thickens and creates volume. She also suggests a groomed brow to complete this fresh and natural look.

As always, no look is complete without final beauty touches such as flawless nails. Michelle Saunders, lead manicurist for Essie chose the color Power Clutch, a striking deep gray with green undertones. Saunders says this is the perfect neutral shade for fall that will “let the collection shine”. She explains that grays are the new year-round neutral, “dark gray for fall/winter, and light gray for spring/summer”. A cool tip she shared with me is how to create a herringbone design on your nails: use a business card and make angles onto semi-dry polished nails, creating a pattern. Power Clutch was inspired by menswear and tweed, and Saunders ensured me it will be more of a go-to shade than a short-term trend. I have always been a huge Essie fan, so this color is certain to join my everlasting personal collection.

The purpose of the hair and make-up direction was to let this magical collection sparkle, and sparkle it sure did. With an abundance of texture, shimmer and iridescent fabrics, this collection presents must-have statement pieces to take your wardrobe from blah to bold. I have my eye on a few pieces that I can’t wait to have in my closet!

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