Michelle Smith finds creative groove with Milly

Designer Michelle Smith walks the runway at the Milly By Michelle Smith show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Art Beam on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images) Michelle Smith's long, blond mane - and the blowouts to straighten it - had been a part of her world since she launched her Milly brand in 2001. But last year, she decided her hair was weighing her down. So after a photo shoot for her latest collection, Smith told celebrity hairstylist Yannick D'Is to "do whatever you want to do to my hair." He chopped off nearly 10 inches and left her with a glamorous cut with natural curl. "I was so ready to go back to my curly hair. It was time. Maybe it was about feeling more confident," said Smith, 43, who recently was in Houston for the Children's Assessment Center annual Spirit of Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. The event featured a Neiman Marcus runway show of her collection. Smith is also feeling more romantic these days. Her spring and summer "Modern Love" collection is a sensual mix of soft details and structured design with off-the-shoulder blouses, flirty and ruffled dresses and cascading skirts in hues from sunrise to sunset. The designs come from a more personal place, she said, taking hearty fabrics such as denim and cotton shirting and making them feminine and playful. More

Designer Michelle Smith walks the runway at the Milly By Michelle Smith show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Art Beam on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

Michelle Smith's long, blond mane - and the blowouts to straighten it - had been a part of her world since she launched her Milly brand in 2001.

But last year, she decided her hair was weighing her down. So after a photo shoot for her latest collection, Smith told celebrity hairstylist Yannick D'Is to "do whatever you want to do to my hair."

He chopped off nearly 10 inches and left her with a glamorous cut with natural curl.

"I was so ready to go back to my curly hair. It was time. Maybe it was about feeling more confident," said Smith, 43, who recently was in Houston for the Children's Assessment Center annual Spirit of Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. The event featured a Neiman Marcus runway show of her collection.

Smith is also feeling more romantic these days. Her spring and summer "Modern Love" collection is a sensual mix of soft details and structured design with off-the-shoulder blouses, flirty and ruffled dresses and cascading skirts in hues from sunrise to sunset. The designs come from a more personal place, she said, taking hearty fabrics such as denim and cotton shirting and making them feminine and playful.

More