MILLY BY MICHELLE SMITH: SUCH A GOOD SPORT

SPORTWEAR-INSPIRED FASHION FOR SPRING/SUMMER 2013

This, I think, is what makes Michelle Smith such a superb designer and what makes Milly such an incredibly popular line.  There is a reliability in Milly.  You know who the Milly girl is and she, in turn, knows what to expect from her go-to designer.

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But that would never hold an audience for a designer, especially a young audience.  So Smith gave her good-girl looks an edge, a bit of the unexpected, every season.  This season, she experimented with sportswear:  sporty looks made with sporty fabrics.  Then she paired them with sexy pencil skirts or soft summer dresses.

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It was an incredible departure for Smith.  She experimented with fabrics like neoprene and see-through plastic, and with a combination of luck and skill, it all worked.

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There were stand-alone pieces, like dresses in a creamy peach, bordered in black and white.  And there were the prettiest dresses in silky fabrics that move so well when you walk.  But it was that mix of textures that really made this collection stand out.  Tweed over neoprene, beautiful cut-out leather over silk, clear plastic panchos over popping print dresses, every one was a creation, and every one worked so well.

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Shiny metallics really stood out, and there was even a hoop skirt, albeit a short and very modern one.

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It is easy to categorize a line like Milly as simply girly or preppy.  But Smith has made the line so much more than that.  Every season there is some new edge to it that makes it so interesting, and one of the most sought-after shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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