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This season, Milly designer Michelle Smith offers a chic, slightly retro and very Parisian collection that evokes the essence of 1960s French New Wave cinema. Oui love.

HERO

Bistro Belle:  Milly Jersey Tee & Flare Skirt

Channeling the spirit of youthful laissez-faire, the French New Wave films were often shot with improvised equipment by the directors’ friends. Paying homage to their method, we gathered photos from our own friends who captured the dreamy allure of some of Paris’s most iconic sights and experiences—adding inspiration around some of our favorite Milly looks.

This season, Milly designer Michelle Smith offers a chic, slightly retro and very Parisian collection that evokes the essence of 1960′s French New Wave cinema. Oui love.

Valentina Siragusa of Factory Style is back in her native Italy and back on The Thread. Her on-trend zipper-detail top adds a complementary pop of color to her print shorts and ladylike pumps.

Shop similar styles:
Zipper-Detail Tops | Ankle-Strap Pumps | Print Shorts

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

MICHAEL Michael Kors Zip Shirt | French Connection Pump | Milly Print Shorts

Photo: Gorunway.com

I was thrilled to run into Michelle Smith, the designer of Milly. Michelle said she had an amazing show, but she was glad to take a breath and enjoy Fashion Week from another perspective. Of course, Michelle’s personal style is super-chic. I am totally enamored by her iridescent skirt and voluminous fur coat, and her leopard accessories add a playful pop of print. Thanks for sharing a moment with us, Michelle!

xo,
Crystal

Shop similar styles:
Milly Handbags | Milly Clothing | Peep-Toe Booties

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Milly Leather Tote | Milly Leather Front Sweater | Prada Peept Toe Bootie

The darkest stages of nightfall and the beauty of classical dance provide the inspiration for Milly‘s ‘Dusk’ entitled fall collection.

Charcoal colors gave way to neutrals for daytime subtlety. From camel paper-bag wool trousers to oversized camel Lurex tweed jackets, designer Michelle Smith constructed a fall statement that emphasized texture and fluidity with precision layering.

See all of our Fashion Week coverage.
Photos: GoRunway.com

Parisian ladies do love to add a touch of the unexpected to their feminine looks! This gorgeous gal’s look is so chic, but her prints and draped bomber jacket add just the right amount of individuality to her outfit. I love the cut and drape of her dress, and that floral Prada bag is highly covetable.

xo,
Crystal

Shop similar styles:
Black & White Printed Dresses | Bomber Jackets | Pearl Collar Necklaces

Shop our Editors’ Picks to re-create this look:

Milly Print Dress | Topshop Bomber Jacket | kate spade new york Glass Pearl Necklace

Enter into the world of Milly and watch Michelle Smith, the creative force behind the brand, translate the idea of transparency into a three-dimensional sculpted look for spring/summer 2014.

Michelle invited The Thread to sit in on the model castings and final fittings for her show.

To make the Milly casting cut, you need to exude femininity with a modern edge.

French model Loulou Robert stops by the showroom to finalize the fit on the two looks she’ll wear for the show.

The Parisian glam-girl is also the face of Milly’s fall ’13 ad campaign.

“I’ve got a base palette of black and white. You’ll see a lot of clean, stark silhouettes, but color really comes into play via my prints,” says Michelle, who designs all her own patterns.

Vintage accessories give the ultra-modern collection an added layer of depth. We can’t wait to see how she puts it all together.

It’s almost showtime! We catch up with the designer at The Stage at Lincoln Center, where we find models Anya Kazakova, Emeline Ghesquiere, Vasilisa Pavlova and Steffi Soede donning heels by Manolo Blahnik for Milly spring ’14.

“For me, the collection always begins with the fabric. I love designing fabric and customizing it. Most, if not all, of my fabrics are European,” says Michelle. “I love taking a fabric swatch that may appear sporty or athletic and then transform it into something very feminine and beautiful.”

“I keep eight factories in New York pretty busy year-round, and they are all within a five-mile radius from my studio,” she says of her New York-made brand. “I make 12 ready-to-wear collections a year, so one each month, as well as 5 cabana swimwear collections, Milly Minis childrenswear and handbags.”

Milly’s black and white palette is punctuated with splashes of tropical and floral prints. “I was in Hawaii back in April on the Big Island and the prints were really conceived from that trip. Prior to Hawaii I was in Japan. so you’ll see touches of Japanese floral layered in,” she adds.

There’s nothing like bringing your kids to work when you’re a fashion designer. Michelle’s two children, William and Sophia, join her on the runway to watch the preshow run-through. And it appears William, who is all smiles, sees something he likes.

Models practice moving to the music before it’s time to change into the first looks.

“This collection really emphasizes the classic silhouette: bust, waist and hips. I wanted to draw attention to the hourglass proportions of a woman’s body,” says Michelle. “There’s also a lot of play on structure and shape.”

The key luxurious fabric used in the collection feels almost like a carbon fiber. What makes this material so advanced is that the transparencies give an X-ray effect.

This sportswear-inspired look with its architectural illusions feels so fresh and chic for spring.

Michelle’s attention to detail and continuous fabric innovation truly make her a master among contemporary designers. Bravo!

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon

Texture has been a major theme this season, and Reyes’s patent paneling is futuristic and cool. Her ladylike silhouette gets a modern edge, thanks to her perforated leather coat and bold accessories. Love this daring, space-age lady look!

xo, Crystal

Shop similar styles:

Designer Trend: Mixed Media | Collars & Cuffs | Leather Jackets

Shop our Editors’ Picks to recreate this look:

Tibi Paneled Dress | Natasha Couture Cuff | Milly Perforated Leather Jacket

Presenting a collection titled ‘illumination,’ designer Michelle Smith served up 43 looks for her Milly line that drew inspiration from the “beauty of urban landscapes at night.” From shimmering fabrics to hologram effects to glowing photo-realistic prints, fall/winter ’13 beamed with stylish statements that came in the form of stud-embossed leather pencil skirts, menswear-inspired overcoats and bonded wool-and-leather jackets. Join us backstage at Lincoln Center and see how Michelle’s radiant vision takes shape.

Backstage beauties L to R: models Zen Sevastyanova, Clarice Silva and Manon Leloup

–Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colón

Tienlyn is a woman of many talents, among them blogging and styling. She says Fashion Week is one of the most inspiring weeks of the year, even if it’s exhausting.

Tienlyn has a classic beauty and her style is chic and effortless. I am seriously coveting her studded leather jacket!

xo, Crystal

Shop similar styles:

Black & White Dresses | Alexander Wang Handbags | Moto-Style Jackets

Shop our Editors’ Picks to recreate this look:

Alice + Olivia Leather & Chiffon Dress | Alexander Wang Leather Satchel | Milly Perforated Leather Jacket

Aimee Song seems to be perpetually surrounded by cameras during FW (including mine). It’s tough to get a lens in! It’s easy to see why everyone wants a shot of Aimee, as her style is always on point. She has a daring eye, and I like a girl who isn’t afraid to go bright and bold. In a sea of winter neutrals, the Song of Style fashion maven is a breath of fresh air.

xo, Crystal

Shop similar styles:

Print Tops | Print Bottoms | Colorful Coats & Blazers

Shop our Editors’ Picks to recreate this look:

Milly Print TopMilly Cropped Skinny Pants | Via Spiga Pleated Trench