Let’s Get Physical: MICHI Fall Collection 2012

I find it difficult to keep fit whilst I am traveling, Blog Reader, so back in England this weekend I turned to the outdoor-gym-of-Lincolnshire. I took a little run around the villages close to where I grew up, dressing in my favourite work out gear, MICHI.  Designer Michelle Watson just released her fall collection for 2012 and as usual I am in love with all of it.

Watson took inspiration from the mysterious underwater world: the unstoppable forces of the deep ocean meeting with serene and natural beauty.  Michelle explained, “Sinuous mesh insertions in contrasting fabrics and textures mirror the undulating oceanic waves and blend with sensual boudoir overtones to flatter the female form and create length.”

I am excited about the new layering pieces in the fall collection.  Long sleeved tops, sweatshirts and tank tops can be worn with the statement bras and leggings both in the gym and on the street.  New colours have also been introduced, including mustard and crimson.

I asked Michelle about her favourites from the new range:

1) The Medusa Leggings in black soft stretch denim because of the sinuous mesh inserts and mixed material mesh. They lengthen, flatter any body shape and are subtly sexy. Great for the gym and even better to dress up for the evening.
2) The Medusa Bra, which has a very clean front with small flattering details such as the center front cut-out triangle. The back is designed to be exposed by layering with a low back or sheer shirt. This bra creates a beautiful silhouette under a sheer or backless top.
3) The Abyss Top is an easy long sleeve layering top made with a buttery, super-soft Italian cotton fabric. The waist, back and shoulder mesh inserts are very flattering and slimming. They give the illusion of a nipped in waist and dress up any work-out outfit.
4) The new french terry sweatsuits (Aurora Sweatshirt, Jacket and Hoodie, and Frontier Sweatpant): MICHI now offers a sweatshirt, sweatpant, hoodie and varsity jacket. They’re perfect to wear to and from the gym, whilst travelling, for lounging and leisure and when you want to feel warm and comfortable but still want to feel polished and put together.
5) The Pipeline Legging is for the customer that wants minimal skin exposed but still wants a chic boudoir look, with an ‘X’ lattice down the side of the leg. A very durable and functional legging for the gym, but very easy to dress up for the evening.

Time to let me hear your body talk*, Blog Reader.

To view the entire Lookbook for MICHI Fall 2012 click here.

*Thank you, Olivia Newton John.

MICHI Athletic Wear.

It’s April, Blog Reader.  You know what that means?  That means “It Is Time”.  Time to come out from hiding underneath those winter layers, out from behind the woollen coats and floaty capes and time to get “Summer Body Ready” (SBR). I know you are already thinking of this Blog Reader, perhaps even dreading it since Easter is annoyingly placed between Winter and Summer when we should be working on our SBR regime.  Meh but what is one chocolate mini egg or two in Spring, you ask?  Well this year nothing, Blog Reader, because a SBR regime requires a hot-workout-kit to motivate you to get down to the hard work that is required and I have found us the perfect athletic gear to get SBR in.

Let me introduce MICHI.  I was told about this designer by the lovely lady behind Quite Continental who got me involved in her regular “Barre n Belles” workout at Pilates on 5th last week.  I love Pilates and the work of Tracy Anderson and I loved the class as a combination of those kind of moves, although the introduction of a 10lb kettlebell weight didn’t go down to well with me at first.  I am quite sure, had I been wearing some of this fabulous sports and dance wear clothing from MICHI I would have had that little bit more motivation to work harder towards my SBR goals.

“MICHI is an edgy, fashion-forward, utilitarian active lifestyle brand. It represents enduring sophistication, alluring femininity, exceptional quality and impeccable fit. MICHI originated from the desire to fill the gap between provocative, glamorous lingerie and comfortable, utilitarian athletic wear.” [StyleOnTheCouch writes: Did I hear “lingerie” and “athletic wear” together? THE range for me then!]

“MICHI is inspired by the seductive, sleek and fantastical super heroine costume mixed with sensual boudoir chic overtones, but is transformed to cater to a modern active lifestyle. Luxurious and cutting edge fabrics with innovative high performance finishes, such as super-soft Italian cotton jersey, four-way stretch Swiss nylon lycra and sumptuous mesh, are used for comfort, breathability, durability – and of course style.”

“Each piece in the Fall 2011 Collection is immaculately constructed and expertly contoured with seemingly weightless stretch fabric. Constructed to fit, flatter and function, MICHI creates length, smooth curves and a perfectly sculpted feminine form. Each piece can be effortlessly mixed, matched and layered to expose intricate details such as peek-a-boo bra straps and stylized waistbands.  With its edgy sensuality and simple yet flattering lines, MICHI sets a new standard for sportswear.  Rich in detail and suggestive contrasts, MICHI makes you feel sexy yet sophisticated, powerful yet feminine, comfortable yet polished”

I adore the look of this collection.  For me it absolutely captures the power of femininity.  I want to take mine to the gym right now so I’m placing my order…..

Let’s hear about Michelle, who is the designer behind the MICHI range:

How did you get into fashion design?
It was the beginning of the Beverly Hills 90210 era but I was instead obsessed with Gianni Versace, Chanel, Christian Lacroix and the Supermodels. I even wrote to YM magazine to convince them to feature high fashion rather than the same old 90210 characters.  I taught myself to sew as a child because my mother wouldn’t buy me the (now hideous) pastel pink ditsy floral Guess short-overalls that I so desperately wanted and I continued making my own clothes from then on.  In University I studied business with the intention to run a successful fashion business. Years later I moved to New York to study fashion design at Parsons School of Design, followed by some great fashion design gigs and now I’m finally doing my own thing!
Why did you decide to focus on sports and dance wear?
I’ve always been an athlete and in the past 12 years a dancer, so every day I would need to wear boring athletic clothing. I felt like most of the sport brands were safe and masculine with a lack of originality. Even my favorite sport brands didn’t have a comfortable or flattering feminine fit. I knew people were very tired of the same popular yoga and athletic brands. For the past few years I was on the RLX Ralph Lauren design team so I was immersed in athletic wear and in a luxury environment with plenty of inspiration. It became clear to me that sports and dance wear was a growing niche market that I could conquer. I knew I could design outfits that would make women want to dance, fight or hit the gym – just so they could wear MICHI. I want to pioneer a change in the world of active wear.
What was the inspiration behind this current collection?
This collection was inspired by the seductive, sleek and fantastical super heroine costume mixed with sensual boudoir chic overtones. If Elektra, Wonder Woman, Bettie Page and Dita Von Teese went to the gym – what would they wear, then continue wearing on the street?
What are you doing at the moment?
Feeling overwhelmed but grateful for all of the positive attention and order inquiries I’ve been getting. For the next few weeks I will be working non-stop with my production team to replenish my stock and fill orders.
Who are you favourite fashion designers and why?
Alber Elbaz (Lanvin), Alexander McQueen (RIP), Gianni Versace (RIP), Christian Lacroix, Mark Fast (Canadian based in London) and John Galliano (I respect his design genius, not his actions).
And finally, what is your favourite item from your own work?
The Lioness Bra (black cut-out bra) with Illusion Pant (bikini detail pant with mesh inserts). I wear them both all the time and I get a lot of unexpected positive attention.

MICHI will be in shops to buy from July.  I hope you love it as much as I do.  For further information please contact Michelle.