*b Michael AMERICA (www.bmichaelamerica.com), the American couturier and read-to-wear designer who is known for his glamorous designs made exclusively in American and worn by many of the world’s most stylish women spring/summer 2014 show at Lincoln Center in NYC on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 8pm in the Studio venue was the best couture show presented during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. “Modern Impressionism is the aesthetic inspiration for my spring 2014 Signature Collection,” effused B Michael.
The ultimate couture presentation consisted of 44 refined pieces inspired by his visit to Giverny, the garden and chateau of Claude Monet. “After a visit this spring to Giverny I was compelled and inspired by its glorious palette. Many of the colors and prints of the fabrications are derived from actual photos taken in the garden. The combinations and variations of greens to blues to lilacs created by nature is perfection,” he said. “One of the most splendid visuals was of an almost black tulip in the midst of all the color. Hence, I have also offered black as part of the palette.”
Included in the designer’s arrangement: “Monet Palette,” “Monet Fantasy Palette,” “Black Floral Fantasy,” and “Formal Garden.” The lifestyle collection consists of day clothes for important meetings, or festive lunches, and dresses which are sometimes worn with toppers as an ensemble. These are clothes that will take modern women from work to social. For cocktail dressing, the collection features “Party Dresses” offering sensual glamour and fantasy. The evening gowns are dramatic, yet very straightforward, using color and fabric volume for effect.
The show also included his exclusive menswear line featuring “Menswear Whimsical Palette,” “Menswear “Giverny Chic,” and “Menswear Formal Garden.” Each garment sent down the runway exuded sheer confidence, masculinity while remaining relaxed, chic and whimsical. The collection featured the modern business suit, single button shawl collar jackets, dinner jackets fabricated in embossed silk, trousers and shirts.
For spring/summer 2014 B Michael presented a masculine interpretation of his point of view to menswear. “The idea is to create a deliberate contrast to the uptight suited look of the corporate uniform. For this collection I have used classic seersucker (my favorite) in color combinations that are not expected, accessorized with pattern shirts that also match the lining in the jackets,” stated Michael.
One thing for certain, the designer makes clothes for the ladies who lunch and they occupy the front rows of his shows – not celebrities. These specially invited ladies paid homage to him by wearing his designs. Socialite Kathryn C. Chenault, wife of American Express Chairman & CEO Kenneth Chenault, is one such woman and sat in the front row looking stunning in a b michael AMERICA fitted orange and ecru yarns woven dress embroidered with aurora-borealis beads, silk gazar bodice and bolero.
“My muse is a modern woman who has a lifestyle with a busy agenda. She epitomizes feminine empowerment. Her timeless, chic style appears effortless. Such women, often at the helm of corporations, business or households inspire me greatly,” explained the designer about his chic clientele.
B Michael always puts a refined, classic stamp on his work. This master craftsmanship most likely honed during his days at Oscar De La Renta. From the 8- button double breasted jacket to matching pattern shirts to their jacket linings, the noted designer has redefined how corporate America will rock their suits.
“For this collection, I have used classic seersucker (my favourite) in color combinations that are not expected — accessorized with pattern shirts that also match the lining in the jackets. The dinner jackets, fabricated in embossed silk, are also an alternative to the typical black tie uniform,” stated michael. “The single button shawl collar jacket and the 8-button double-breasted jacket are fitted, and elongate the torso. The collection of made t-to-measure jackets, trousers and shirts will be available by appointments through the b Michael AMERICA atelier.”
The finale was the piece de resistance as supermodels and the designer’s close personal friends — Maya Haile and Lu Sierra — rocked the show by wearing standout floor-length gowns with Sierra upstaging the runway wearing a show-stopping Monet blue/turquoise/teal, silk Mikado, billowed tier gown. As all eyes watched the lithesome model, she eyed the audience back as she moved methodically down the runway causing pandemonium in the venue. Once reaching the beginning of the runway, she paused and looked over her shoulder before disappearing backstage to raucous applause and reappeared to a still standing audience with B Michael and Haile. The trio walked the runway to loud applause. Michael stopped briefly to kiss his friend and client, Tony Award winner Cicely Tyson.
b michael AMERICA Couture Spring 2014 show saluted The Posse Foundation, Inc. Additionally, contributing to the success of the show: AU Jewelry Design for b michael AMERICA Couture; Mark Q. Paige Accessories for b michael AMERICA Couture; Theodore Turner (make up artist); Aveda (hair); Wilhelmina, Q Model Management and Click Model Management (model agencies); Kevin Edwards (music); Audrey Smaltz’s The Ground Crew (back of house). The designer also had high praises for b michael AMERICA Atelier Team and Reyes Cruz, Josephine Garcia, Sirelda Bello and Carmen Gonsolavez. (Photos by Jakub Kollarik)
About b michael AMERICA
Fashion innovator, pacesetter and legend B Michael began his career as a milliner and honed his skills as a fashion designer and couturier while working in the ateliers of leading designers including Oscar de la Renta. Michael launched his own label in 1999 and is now at the helm of a multi-faceted brand that includes ready-to-wear, accessories and the treasured couture collection. A favorite among some of the most photographed women in the world, Michael’s designs have been worn by Cate Blanchett, Beyonce, Halle Berry and Cicely Tyson, among others.
About b michael AMERICA RED Collection
The b michael AMERICA RED Collection features beautiful, ready-to-wear pieces that today’s modern-chic woman can easily incorporate into her wardrobe. Each dress in the Collection is designed with on-the-go style in mind so that women can seamlessly transition from daytime to evening. The b michael AMERICA RED Collection features several different looks – dresses that range in color palettes from ivory to B Michael’s signature red. Priced from $155 to $400, the Collection is available at select retailers, including the following Macy’s locations nationwide: Macy’s Herald Square, New York, New York; Macy’s Pentagon City, Arlington, Virginia; Macy’s State Street, Chicago, Illinois; Macy’s Water Tower, Chicago, Illinois; Macy’s Metro Center, Washington DC; Macy’s Union Square, San Francisco, California; Macy’s Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Macy’s South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, California; Macy’s Lenox Square, Atlanta, Georgia; and Macy’s Dadeland, Miami, Florida
Designer B Michael views the b michael AMERICA RED Collection as an extension of his highly-praised Couture line. “The RED line is a joy to create because it allows me to broaden my point-of-view of Advanced American Style that for me means classic glamour,” says Michael. “I am also extremely proud that all of our pieces are made in America which enables our team to be hands on, assuring highest quality and interpretation of my designs.” (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130401/NY86020 )
“As a designer, I am much honored to have my Collection at Macy’s. This is an iconic and important American retailer and arbiter of style.” For more information, please visit http://www.bmichaelamerica.com.
As the hallmark of the brand’s “Advanced American Style” heritage, Michael remains committed to designing and manufacturing his collections in America, creating jobs for garment workers in New York City and supporting the heart of the U.S. fashion industry since 1999.
About The Posse Foundation, Inc.
Posse started in 1989 because of one student who said, “I never would have dropped out of college if I had my posse with me.” The Posse Foundation identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. The Foundation extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams – Posses – of 10 students. The Foundation’s partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships
*On Monday, September 9, 2013, philanthropist, attorney and socialite Kathryn C. Chenault opened the door to her plush Fifth Avenue residence in celebration of New York Fashion Week and to host an exclusive book bash for Cameron Silver, author of Decades: A Century of Fashion, along with her favorite fashion designer B MICHAEL, Mark-Anthony Edwards, co-founder CEO, b michael AMERICA, and socialite Jean Shafiroff.
Kathryn was a vision of exquisiteness in b michael America turquoise Italian double-faced wool crepe sheath with blocked bronze filigree-lace at hem and matching bolero. While her abode administrator made sure everything ran smoothly, the hosts warmly welcomed their crème de la crème guests including Tony Award winner Cicely Tyson, Jill Bright, Nicole Fischelis, Regis & Joy Philbin, Arianna Huffington, Debra Lee, Sandra Parks, Deborah Roberts, NY1’s Cheryl Wills & husband John Singleton Jr., Melissa Berkelhammer, Audrey Meyer, Marva Smalls, Debra Martin Chase, Diane Thompson, Harriet Michel, Yaz & Valentin Hernandez, Amelia Cogunlesi, Ike Ude, Jean Shafiroff, Cameron Silver, Thelma Golden and many more.
What was booked as a two-hour cocktail reception featuring catered treats by Artie Thompson Events and premium libations went late into the evening as guests were having such a lovely time and couldn’t tear themselves away from the beauty and comfort of the Chenault noble residency; or the always engaging and charming Kathryn who invited guests to roam her posh digs including her private garden. The only part that was off limits was her husband’s home office. He’s CEO & Chairman of American Express, Kenneth Chenault. Upon departure, each guest was presented with an autographed copy of the Decades book. Special mention to the beautiful floral arrangements by The Daily Blossom’s Saundra Parks. (Photos by Jakub Kollarik)
|About Cameron Silver
Since Cameron Silver, founder, co-owner Decades, opened the doors of Decades in 1997, the dress code in Los Angeles has irrevocably changed due – in large part – to Silver exhorting his frequently-photographed, trendsetting clientele to “dress up!” He is widely recognized for his impact on runway trends from fashion’s new generation of designers in New York and Paris to the way a constellation of Hollywood’s brightest appear on the red carpet. With the new guard of so many heritage houses from New York to Milan seeking inspiration at Decades, Silver is frequently tapped to consult on everything from re-imagining a brand’s identity to navigating its global launch. His current clients are confidential, but Silver has served as a creative consultant to Azzaro, Samsonite, Costume National, Pringle and Boucheron. Named one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Names and Faces in Fashion” in 2002, Silver is a favorite pundit on E! Entertainment, the Style Network and “Fashion File.” In January 2012, The Art of Elysium recognized Silver as the year’s Visionary and creative force behind their Heaven gala. He has written about luxury, from shopping to travel to his front row perch at the haute couture presentations, for Harpers Bazaar (UK), C Magazine, Departures, Style.com, and others. Today, with more than a decade of Decades under his alligator belt, Silver is on an international tour to promote his coffee table book for Bloomsbury, Decades: A Century of Fashion showcasing an unexpected compilation of the most significant 20th century fashions, as well as many of the celebrities he collaborated with over the years.
Decades is the illustrious vintage and haute consignment retailer in Los Angeles, worshipped by fashionistas and collectors alike for an unparalleled collection of designer clothing and accessories dating from the 1920s to today. Known for their discerning eye, co-owners Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos personally oversee the acquisition of an edited selection of authentic vintage treasures and future collectibles. Their impact in the fashion industry is recognizable even among those who have never walked into the boutique; their finery is seen on women across the globe in places like Dubai, Moscow and Tokyo, who regularly snatch up a couture gown or one-off necklace online at the Decades ecommerce site. Their clientele in Los Angeles is a veritable who’s who of Hollywood’s elite, which includes Julianne Moore, Selma Blair, Charlize Theron, among many others. Renowned stylist Rachel Zoe regularly goes bananas over their unique finds.
New York based award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel for the Electronic Urban Report and other outlets. Contact her via: [email protected]