Made in America
By Miriam Silverberg
I was invited to the atelier of B Michael on Seventh Avenue to see his new ready to wear collection, B Michael America Red. I was very interested for two reasons: his couture collection, started in 1999, is very beautiful and well made and wonder of wonders, his clothes are actually made in America, right here on Seventh Avenue.
I wasn't disappointed. His ready to wear is made with the same craftsmanship and attention to detail as his couture. And his price points are surprisingly low, especially considering the quality. I saw a white dress with a matching black coat for $370. That's $370 for both pieces! And they're made right here. I kept asking B Michael about it and he said it's all about his commitment to himself to make all his clothes here – even the labels – to show it can be done. I was intrigued with the silk fabric for one of his dresses which had machine-embroidered multi-colored yarn stripes.
Some of the line is made of silk, cotton, wool and some fabrics are man-made. Sizes are 2 up to 18. Macy's carries the line in its flagship store here and other branches around the country. The price points start at $195 and go up to $500.
When I asked who wears his clothes, he protested that he didn't like to "kiss and tell," but did allow that Amy Fine Collins, Nancy Wilson, Beyonce Knowles and many socialites and corporate wives are ardent fans. And, of course, when she picked up her Tony for "A Trip to Bountiful," Cicely Tyson was wearing one of his couture creations.
The line is sleek and simple, a modern approach to glamour. He said, "My clients have lots of beautiful jewelry; they don't need beading on their clothes." It will be interesting to follow B Michael's career. •