Fashion Exposure: MILLY Spring 2014 offers “Transparency”

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Milly ss 14 transparency collage

Milly showed transparent styles for Spring 2014. (images via the designer)

My biggest surprise at  the recent New York Fashion Week shows was designer Michelle Smith’s  MILLY Spring 2014 collection.    MILLY is a fashion brand I love and its been a wardrobe staple of mine for several years.  I own sweaters, dresses, jewelry and print tops from this designer.  However, I don’t think MILLY Spring 2014 will be gracing my closet.   Almost every garment on the runway was sheer, or see through.   A perfect figure that you want everyone to see is needed for Milly Spring 2014.   The collection, appropriately titled “Transparency”, exposed the runway models  figures in a way typically only worn by rock-stars and celebrities.  Hopefully, the garments will be lined when they hit retailers next season.

Milly print dress ss 2014

MILLY Spring 2014 featured some of the designer’s trademark prints (images via MILLY)

For Spring 2014, Michelle Smith, founder and designer of MILLY,  took a dramatic fashion departure with the use of  three-dimensional technical fabrics, layered transparency and architectural illusions.

So how did the designer decide to move to the sheer designs she showed on the runway?  She was inspired by Japanese architecture during a recent trip to Tokyo.  Drawing upon the use of laser cutting techniques and sculptural silhouettes, the Ms. Smith developed a Spring 2014 collection that  unveiled the female form in  shall we say “unexpected” proportions.  There were still a few of Smith’s custom-made prints (see above), based on Japanese and Hawaiian florals and engineered in luxurious European fabrics in the collection, but the main palette was black and white.

Comments from attendees watching the show ran the gamut from ” I hope she lines that” to exclamations about colored granny panties on Twitter. It pains me to write about the granny panties, but I can see how viewers could get that impression.  For a generation of consumers wearing Spanx and Yummie Tummy, transparency may not be their preferred fashion choice for Spring 2014.  The gorgeous sheath print dresses will have more mass-market appeal to MILLY aficionados.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.