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B. Michael premieres new line at South Coast Plaza

The New York fashion designer's b michael American Red will be sold exclusively at Macy's.

August 16, 2012|By Heather Youmans

"Designing this was more research in terms of finding great fabrics and finding ways to take the kind of silhouetting that I do, which typically is lots of seams and construction work, and finding a way to translate that for ready to wear and to create it in America," he said.

B. Michael got his start years ago as a millenary designer for Oscar de la Renta, Louis Feraud and Nolan Miller on the TV series "Dynasty."

"I love to say that Chanel started as a millenary designer and Hassen started as a millenary designer, so I'm a humble member of their club," B. Michael said with a laugh.

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He debuted his first couture line in fall 1999, under the guidance of Eleanor Lambert.

Since then, the designer has shown his collections in the United States and Asia and has designed for sports stars and high-profile actresses.

In fact, his newest collection was influenced by the dramatic looks he designed for Houston in "Sparkle."

The New York resident wasn't in town for just the Macy's launch, but also for the "Sparkle" premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday.

"I have not seen any of the screenings, my design," he said. "I will attend the premiere and see it for the first time, so I am very excited. Aside from all of everything attached to it, I'm looking forward to seeing it as a film and following the storyline, because I think it's well done."

B. Michael collaborated with the film's costume designer, Ruth Carter, who commissioned him to create most of Houston's wardrobe for the film.

He began working on the project after fashion week last September and finished about the first week of November.

"[It was] amazing, at the same time very professional, but I will say very warm and very personable," the designer said of working with the late Houston. "I enjoyed her responding to the fit of the dresses and saying, 'Oh wow, B. This is wonderful, oh lord. Wow, I love the sleeve. Make it even grander and do this.' You know, it was that kind of interaction that I particularly enjoyed."

"Sparkle" will be released nationwide Friday.

In the meantime, B. Michael is in the process of developing his next line, b michael America Blue, set for release next year.

"But you know, I learned a long time ago to focus on what today's agenda is," he said. "Today it's all about red. I am looking forward to — as a brand — that we leave a mark in terms of American fashion history."

dailypilot@latimes.com

Twitter: @TheDailyPilot

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