TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
As I sat looking at one of the best collections of this NYFW, I found it hard to believe that Monique Lhuillier started out as a bridal designer. I saw my first Monique Lhuillier collection, over three years ago, on a wet NY Bridal Week, somewhere downtown, on the lower West Side, probably Eyebeam Studio. Listening to the retailers in the row in front of me, I suspected that what I’d see was more RTW that straight-on bridal. The gowns that came out were like something out of a little girl’s fairy tale dream crossed with a knock-out Red Carpet gown. No veils, no extra bling, just beautifully constructed gowns that were flattering and romantic, all at once.
This September, at the RTW shows,
the white jersey dress Monique showed was drop dead gorgeous and fit for a modern day Grecian goddess.
Many designers reference + aspire to create a “goddess gown” [and there’s one on just about every line sheet], but most often fall short of the mark.
While Monique’s gowns are certainly Red Carpet material, she also designs gorgeous cocktail dresses that have just enough of a vintage reference. There were fifties floral A-line chiffon dresses
and a beautiful cream wool tailleur (suit)
with decorative paillettes. Other confections to wear for cocktails included dresses with delicate lace overlay and feather detailing that somehow never looked over the top. When you wear one of these dresses, do as hairstylist Rudi Lewis of Bumble and Bumble did, and go with a classic ballerina chignon, and accessorize as stylist Tina Laakonen did for the show. Tina, one of my favorite editorial stylists from across the pond, and a longtime British Vogue staffer, wisely kept the accessories to a bare minimum. There were gold sandals by Bruno Frisoni and diamond earrings by Fred Leighton. The green silk
shantung trumpet gown accessorized with Fred Leighton, [of course], screams, “Wear me to the Red Carpet!”. The only question is, which lucky star will be wearing it to the Oscars?