Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Milly by Michelle Smith Runway Show

Leave it to Michelle Smith, the designer behind the luxury clothing line Milly, to give a phenomenal showing for her upcoming Spring/Summer 2011 collection. The upcoming season will mark the 10th anniversary of Milly, as well as be the debut of her handbag and jewelry collections.

The glorious display of casual-chic ensembles was definitely one of the highlights of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. We’re pretty sure that somewhere, the “Gossip Girl” stylists must be having a field day right about now. The edgy/preppy combination of the runway show seemed to be directly inspired by the hit TV show about privileged Manhattan teenagers.

Smith’s actual inspiration? Peggy Guggenheim, the New York socialite known for her sophisticated yet sometimes outlandish sense of style throughout the 20th century. Smith reflects, “Accomplished, well-traveled and stylishly eccentric, Peggy Guggenheim has inspired me this season with alluring and unexpected combinations of pattern, texture and color.”

The jackets were by far a strong point of the collection — from knee-length pea-coats to cropped jackets, all were beautifully crafted in bold colors like Kelly green, navy blue and tomato red in strategic blocks and geometric shapes. There were patterned jackets, too, even some featuring tribal prints, which offset the preppiness of the entire collection, but maintained its synergy by incorporating the same bright colors. High-waisted skirts secured by skinny cinch belts were another common theme, adding a level of sophistication to the youthful colors and shapes. Large, round buttons were the hardware of choice, while tweed, silk and cotton were the chosen ones of fabric.

The new bags and jewelry fit in seamlessly with the collection, and it comes to us a surprise that this is Smith’s first undertaking with both. Every design is modern, yet timeless. We particularly like the black leather crochet raffia bag with gold chain strap and the various satchels and tote bags that will be likely become the next everyday purse. The jewelry collection featured woven crystal bracelets and resin wood necklaces, pieces that we can actually picture Peggy Guggenheim (and Blair Waldorf and Serena Van der Woodsen) wearing.

To view more from the Milly by Michelle Smith Spring/Summer 2011 collection and some backstage photos, visit Haute Living’s Events Gallery.