from his grandma's heels to the catwalk, michael discusses his personal fashion journey.
how did you first get interested in clothes/earliest fashion memory?
i have vivid memories from when i was young of being mesmerized by my grandma, barbara. she's a real estate agent and the embodiment of a powerful female in the workplace. in the 90's her skirt suits were nipped in at the waist and she loved a good shoulder pad. her nails were always perfectly manicured in bright red and she was always wearing a stiletto heel. to this day she does yard work in heels, denim shorts, and a bikini top. i think she has 3 or 4 closets in her house full of clothes. as a kid i would sneak into her closet and wear her heels around the house. i got really good at walking in heels from a young age! as a kid i played with barbie and bratz dolls and that also inspired me to get into fashion.
you walked for lanvin! when designers aren't dressing you..how would you describe your own personal style?
my day to day look is usually something practical. i guess i'm sort of minimalist - i like clean lines. i wear a lot of black because it's easy. i have a few archive pieces from brands like helmut lang and maison margiela that i love because they blur the line between masculine and feminine so well. plus, the cut of their clothing is so genius. i often incorporate elements of womenswear into my outfits because i feel really beautiful and powerful when i wear them. i'll do a dark eye if i'm going out and want to do a glam look. for this shoot i was inspired by the women in helmut newton polaroids.
what meaning do clothes have for you?
for me, as cliche as this sounds, clothes are a way to transform yourself. clothes are the easiest way for you to change your physical appearance. they allow me to explore parts of myself that i normally couldn't. they also tell stories. i love to collect pieces that i don't even wear sometimes because they're from a designer i admire, or a collection that really inspired me.
as a designer where do you look for fashion inspiration?
i often refer to my childhood for inspiration - i think my most sincere work comes from personal experiences. recently i've been inspired by memories of fishing with my dad and the many visual references that go along with that. i think about my family often when i design.
photos by gregory hanwell