Milly by Michelle Smith Fall 2012

When & where: Wednesday, February 15 at 3 p.m., the Stage, Lincoln Center 
Runway recap: It had been a few seasons since I attended a Milly show, and it seems the brand has grown into a more refined, yet still fun and flirty persona. The styling—black opaque tights, pointy pumps, berets and hair bows—hinted at a Parisian vibe, but the almost futuristic fabrics and bright colors were all American. Smith showed skirts ranging from pencil to pouf, and most of the jackets were cropped and slightly boxy, a Milly signature. What was new was the luxe look of many of the fabrics, many with an interesting texture or sheen, or in the case of a gorgeous red coat, both. Over the years, Smith has really refined the Milly look, and it's interesting to see how she explores the aesthetic—a little bit preppy, a little bit retro, and very feminine—within those constraints. Many of fall's big trends, from pepums to leather, were well-represented here, but everything still looked unmistakably Milly. Which, if you ask me, is the mark of a successful line.   
Bonus points: The shoes in the show—pointy, platformless stilettos—were custom-made by the master of that classic look, Manolo Blahnik.
Where to buy: Click here to find a store.

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