NYFW: MILLY BY MICHELLE SMITH S/S 2014

Cue the Miley Cyrus jokes; there’s no thorough examination of the Milly by Michelle Smith spring/summer 2014 line without them. Why? Mesh. Yards upon yards upon yards of mesh. Yes, I understand this is apparently the season of mesh, but I’ve not yet seen a collection so completely consumed with the laser cut fabric. For several minutes into the show, I was convinced that Ms. Smith had found a way to incorporate the material into every last piece of her line. Fortunately, she didn’t, and unlike the J. Mendel line shown just previous, she did manage to cover the appropriate body parts so one can actually wear her clothes in public without being arrested.

Warning: wear these clothes in public and someone is going to make a snarky Miley Cyrus comment. I’m sorry, its inevitable.

All joking aside, this really is a very fun and sporty set. Since mesh doesn’t exactly “catch air” the way more opaque fabrics do, Ms. Smith has kept her silhouettes fitted to the body and well tailored. The mesh itself is, for the most part, either black or white, with color coming from the different pieces underneath. Waist lines are set middle-of-the-rib-cage high and a fair number of the ensembles include jackets (always of mesh) and gloves (not mesh).

When not trying to untangle the line from all that mesh, Michelle counters with a couple of beautiful prints. The first is an Asian-inspired floral that makes its first appearance on an ensemble of a crop top (with racing T back) and skirt. She goes on to use that print on dresses and jackets and even swimwear. The second is a more tropical print that receives similar treatment to very positive effect.

There is one pseudo zebra skin print that just hurt my eyes, but she only used it once so we’ll just let that one slide and not say any more.

Then, in case things weren’t already hot and sexy, here comes the rubberized cotton, a material that looks a lot like leather but is significantly lighter and easier to manipulate. It’s first appearance is as a short, black overall-styled jumper with a white mesh shirt beneath. It then gets used over and under mesh on various garments to glorious effect.

At the end of the day, this isn’t a collection for just anyone. The look is very young, very sexy, and very fitted. One needs to be in good shape and have a rather healthy self esteem before stepping out in public wearing a complete ensemble. My expectations are that the mesh jackets may do well in the Midwest, as will the prints, but the rest isn’t the type thing one let’s on about having in their closet.

Meanwhile, if you’re really taken with this collection, you should probably learn to twerk. Whatever twerking is. I just know someone is going to show up to a photoshoot next spring wearing this stuff, aren’t you?

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