“She’s so professional and she’s so wonderful, that there’s no secret,” Michael, who’s designed several pieces for the superstar including a bodysuit for her Super Bowl 50 performance, told PeopleStyle at LA Fashion Week.
“You’ve just got to do a great job because she’s a professional and she wants things done right and she wants things done perfect,” explains Michael, 34, who adds “getting that call” to work with Beyoncé last year “was so surreal.”
“She said that I made pink look tough,” says Michael referring to the off the runway pink number the singer wore during her performance at the Tidal X: 1020 concert last October.
Surprisingly, for Michael the pressure of designing for Beyoncé didn’t stem from making “something that she would like,” but “making sure that she still felt like Beyoncé in [his] clothes.”
“That was really important,” says the LA-based designer, who believes that “no matter what stylist” the Lemonade singer uses she “still has an opinion that’s actually educated” when it comes to fashion.
“She’s not having someone tell her what’s good,” shares Michael. “She has still has a very clear idea of what she wants, which is wonderful.”
“There’s certain situations where they’ll come to me and say, ‘I don’t know what I ‘m doing, let’s make some cool stuff,'” Michael says of the design process. “And there’s certain situations where it’s like, ‘I want this specific thing,’ and I’ll do it, but I’ll say, ‘Maybe we should tweak some things’ because I feel like it’s out of my caliber of the brand.”
“I understand it,” he says. “It’s not me, but I think there’s different avenues and there’s different times for everything.”
The designer is also on board with Hollywood’s obsession with season pushing.
“Ultimately no one wants to wait six months to wear something because they’re over it already because the next season comes out,” Michael says. “I feel like now fashion’s broken down so many of these traditional barriers that it’s almost frowned upon that you’re not doing something that’s more innovative.”
In fact, Michael’s newest collection The Ritual, which debuted at LA Fashion Week over the weekend, features “turtlenecks, silk, leather, fringe and velvet.”
“It’s super spiritual, it’s really witchy,” Michael says of his line. “It’s about getting in tune with yourself again and the universe and being grounded and at the same time acknowledging dark and light and life — and turning that into something that’s positive.”
And to help complete the looks for Michael’s LA Fashion Week runway show, he collaborated with LuxeLab hair stylists.
“His clothes are always really amazing and always has a strong edge to it, and that’s the kind of hair that we’re most inspired by as a salon — really edgy hair,” says David Abrams, President of LuxeLab.
“There are a lot of other great designers [at LA Fashion Week] and a lot of the hair is more pretty, and what you expect runway hair to look like,” continues Abrams, “But with Ashton it’s much more edgy, much more intense, more shocking and lots of people with tattoos, so we have to really match both the feeling of the clothing and the feeling of the models in the hair.”
Designing aside, when it comes to his few free moments, Michael says he spends it “sleeping.”
“I’m a homebody,” he admits. “I sit at home and drink wine and eat cheese with my Pit bull – and if I can do that for three hours and not have to be working or doing anything, I’m so happy.”
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