Model shows off a Spring, 2012 b michael design

*Famed fashion designer b michael presented his highly anticipated “b michael America Spring 2012 Collection” during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Wednesday, September 14, 2011, at The American Museum of Natural History to a culturally diverse crowd that included Cicely Tyson, Dina Merrill, Phylicia Rashad, Tamara Tunie & Gregory Generet, Desiree Rogers, Melba Moore, Alva Chinn, Kathryn Chenault, Jean Chatzky, Will & Anthony Nunziata, Myrna Colley-Lee and Richard Mayhew.

Known for his graceful designs and fierce use of bold colors, the designer’s new collection did not disappoint as it contained both of these “must have” true fashion elements.  The runway came alive as terrifically tantalizing models appeared in vivid floral assortment of colors — bright green, orange lily, daffodil yellow, hydrangea blue, iris purple, azalea pink and red rose.

Dresses were above the knee; and what he lost in length, he made up in collars which were dramatically big with strategic godet openings at the hemline.  The eveningwear was elegantly chic silhouettes — some with curved seamed torsos or fitted like floor length sheaths.  Color was consistent for the evening fabrics combined or embroidered.

Front row attendees with b michael (second left) included Tamara Tunie, Phylicia Rashad, Myrna Colley-Lee

The truly standout feature of the modernistic collection was the haute separates including a head turning new trouser of vertical and horizontal seams in double faced gandini wool for day partnered with a tailored short jacket and metallic threaded silk faille worn with a bias double faced silk charmuse top for evenings.  Michael’s little white dress was retro yet modernistic.

“Overall, the collection was to reflect an upbeat positive point of view… reminding us of the beauty in life and nature and the gift of color” noted b michael about his collection — with love.  Adding to the allure of the collection presented by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney was hair and make-up created by Aveda; jewelry by Alejandra In Design; and floral designs by Michael Gaffney.

The philanthropic designer always mixes fashion fluidity with a great cause and the “b michael America Spring 2012 Fashion Show” paid tribute to the great work of the New York City Mission Society that has supported children and families for over 198 years – encouraging resiliency in the face of many changes, self-confidence and the ability to make positive life choices.

The non-profit organization’s core values include respect for every person served, encouraging youth to explore their individuality in a safe and nurturing environment, and seeing possibilities where others see limitations.  (Photos by Christopher Greco)

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.