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Summary: The Milly Spring/Summer ’09 collection by Michelle Smith threw a serious boho party during Fashion Week. Things started out great (and fun with a blaring soundtrack from the ’60’s and ’70’s) when a stunning rainbow-hued caftan sauntered down the runway. It was chic and bright and definitely covetable. A number of other similar pieces followed (including a gorgeous, strapless aqua tie-dye silk chiffon dress with cascading tiers in the skirt), but somewhere along the way, the collection went off the rails a bit. The "boho chic" looks faltered somewhat into "hippy dippy" for a good portion of the show. The dresses in those kaleidoscope colors morphed into too many big fluttering ruffles, too much dangling pom-poms, too much tie-dye in crazy colors. But just in time, Milly reigned it back in, almost as if the inspiration for the collection was a girl going through different stages of her life but coming back to her boho-chic aesthetic along the way. The show finished with a more controlled point-of-view, including an infusion of simpler black-and-white prints, sequin-embroidered prairie dresses in one beautiful color, crocheted bikinis with glamorous, sheer toppers, and a safari-influenced group of cap-sleeve tops, cotton embroidered jackets and sleek trousers. The majority of the collection could be really wearable with a lot less fringe-and-braided-hair styling, and the show overall was a great party with a truly memorable caftan…
Color Palette: rainbow prints, lavender, bark, chartreuse, olive, citron, gold, coconut, ecru, brown, white, watermelon, bronze, chocolate, aqua, orchid, mocha, tiki print, persimmon, ikat print, tie-dye print
Fabrics & Textures: silk chiffon, cotton jacquard, cotton sateen, crepe-de-chine, cotton twill, trompe l’oeil, cotton crochet, cotton guipure, voile, silk georgette, silk twill, jersey, silk gauze
Key Looks: rainbow floral silk chiffon caftan, lavender linen ikat print ruffle dress; olive cotton twill safari dress; bark Bali jacquard belted coat with persimmon double silk chiffon ruffle camisole and olive cotton twill trapunto stitch button skirt; ecru ruffle crochet cap sleeve sweater with ecru textured cotton pocket trouser; chocolate viscose jersey drape sleeve dress; tiki print bikini; aqua silk chiffon floral tie-dye print ruffle dress
– Alison Stewart