Posts Tagged ‘B Michael’

designerAs one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady. The rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by. I encourage my fellow designers to do the same.

– Sophie Theallet, French fashion designer and designer for Michelle Obama. This quote was taken from an open letter from Ms. Theallet released shortly after the election of Trump.

Sophie Theallet was the first to say it and since then many other designers including Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Phillip Lim have also stated they would not dress Melania Trump. But there are others who claim they would be honored. The Daily Mail reported Tommy Hilfiger and B. Michael are interested. (I’m very sorry to hear about B. Michael as he is one of my favorite designers.)

Now it’s true that Ms. Trump can buy whomever she wants off-the-rack and that is what she’s been doing but usually designers are lining up to work with any new First Lady. Even the unpopular Nancy Reagan had her go-to designers such as Oscar de la Renta, and as far as I know no one refused to design for her.

I think it speaks volumes that not only are some designers NOT anxious to work with Ms. Trump but that others are using this opportunity to take a stand against the horrors of Trump and his cronies. It seems Ms. Trump is beyond unpopular, by association and frankly, by her absence of First Lady qualities. Not to mention her apparent lack of interest in being First Lady.

Thank you Sophie Theallet, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim and all the designers and artists who are standing strong against what is wrong. You are an inspiration!


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A hat is something you wear for pragmatic reasons. Millinery is for fashion.

b. Michael told the Houston Chronicle in 1988.

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Fashion designer b Michael had the honor of dressing Whitney Houston in the upcoming film Sparkle.

A remake of the 1976 film starring Irene Cara, Sparkle takes place in the 1960s and tells the story of an up-and-coming sister singing group in Harlem. Ms. Houston plays the girls’ mother.

Mr. Michael has always been about style. As a youngster he’d redesign his grandmother’s hats. After an early and brief career on Wall Street he shifted into fashion and worked as a milliner for Oscar de la Renta. In 1980 Nolan Miller invited Mr. Michael to design hats for the hit television show, Dynasty. In 1989 he created his own line of hats and ten years later in 1999 he crossed over into women’s wear showing his label b Michael for the first time.

Last fall Mr. Michael was asked to work with Sparkle’s costume designer Ruth Carter in creating nine pieces for Ms. Houston. “Whitney was excited about working on the film,” Mr. Michael recently said in an interview with WWD. “I was excited to work with her. It was a once-in-a- lifetime moment.”

He told WWD that Ms. Houston frowned on the sleeveless dress he designed for a church scene. She pointed out to him that she needed dramatic sleeves for when she raised her arms up high while singing.

Mr. Michael listened to the feedback and designed a champagne-color silk and wool suit with exaggerated trumpet sleeves (pictured above). It’s lovely, but unfortunately the suit includes mink fur around the collar. Assuming it’s real, that’s disappointing. The use of real fur in fashion is unnecessary and inhumane. Still, the suit is a beautiful color and I love those sleeves.

We can see this suit and all the other b Michael originals for Ms. Houston when Sparkle is released in August.

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