NYFW: b Michael debuts menswear line, wows crowd
For years, b Michael has been the master of transforming his creative visions into flowing, picturesque gowns and curve-hugging dresses.
Now, in his Spring 2014 collection, he has proven that there is no limit to his skills and that his immaculate design concepts break the barriers of gender.
On Wednesday night, among a sea of eager faces, b Michael debuted his very first menswear collection at New York Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. And let there be no doubt — it was just as fabulous and bold as the women’s designs synonymous with the b Michael AMERICA brand.
The show opened with tailored, ready-to-wear looks draped around the curves of statuesque female models who strutted the cat walk with style and sophistication.
Each dress was hemmed to perfection, hitting just above the knee as they reflected bold colors – from deep shades of green to pastel hues of pink – all inspired from his recent trip to Giverny, the garden and the chateau of Claude Monet.
Soon the lights dimmed, the music faded away and imposing male models hit the runway sporting a series of casual solid-colored suits with matching pastel blazers and polished dress shoes.
Menswear line debuts with impressive looks
For many designers, creating a collection and making risky moves often takes months of planning, but for b Michael, stepping outside of the box is a frequent dare he willingly takes.
However, he says exhibiting a menswear collection was the result of a spur-of-the-moment decision that ultimately incited the launch of an entire line.
“My menswear actually started by default. I create clothing for myself and for Mark-Anthony and it was on a spring board from there,” b Michael told theGrio. “The idea is to dress men when they are away from the office, for when they’re hanging out on the weekends or spending time with their wives.” (Mark-Anthony Edwards is the co-founder and CEO of b Michael America.)
The looks exemplified comfort and ease with a hint of luxury made for career-driven men who radiate confidence and have a special flair for style.
Beige, brown and off-white jackets were paired with corresponding solid-colored pants that were close in color yet created a contrast as bold and unique as all of the creative’s designs.
Meanwhile, shirts were bright and brought playful patterns to the mix, ultimately marrying the jackets to the pants for head-to-toe looks.
A show unlike any other
The remainder of the show was just as impressive as audience members cooed from their seats, captivated by the event which was organized by Audrey Smaltz – a former model and the founder of Ground Crew, a backstage management company for fashion brands.
“B is fabulous – I’ve been wearing his clothes for a long time. I love that he did menswear this year! I event want a suit for myself,” Smaltz told theGrio. She is married to Gail Marquis, a former basketball legend who competed in the 1976 Olympics.
Lights dimmed before each segment of the show and the music changed as constant upbeat tunes blasted from the speakers. The looks continued to change as portions of the program alternated between featuring casual and cocktail looks – both male and female – all the while the designs remained cohesive and unified.
Models soon descended upon the runway dressed in formal wear and the gowns cascaded across the isle in almost every electrifying color and in a myriad of unique patterns.
Models steal the show
Supermodels Maya Haile and Lu Sierra – both good friends of b Michael – closed the show by debuting his most standout pieces — floor-length gowns ready for any red-carpet appearance.
But it was Sierra who stole the show as she walked the runway wearing a beautiful blue and teal strapless mermaid-style gown. Her fierce strut down the catwalk called for every ligament in her 6’ 3” frame to be put into motion.
She eyed the members of the audience as her slow, but steady, walk enthralled the crowd – but it was her diva-esque exit that signaled the finale to a remarkable show and prompted the crowd to rise to their feet in applause.
“This was one of the easiest jobs that I have. When you get to wear a couture piece, a truly beautiful piece, you’re not modeling. It really does it’s own job,” Sierra told the Grio after the show.
“I mean how can you go wrong with this? This is when I’m not miracle working. Here all I have to do is show up and put on a b Michael, baby.”
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works