Monique Lhuillier is known for her stunning special occasion gowns. Many a bride dreams of being a princess on her special day, floating down the aisle in one of ms. Lhuillier’s signature wedding dresses. These are dresses for true divas who deserve (or feel they deserve) the absolute luxury of an over-the-top dress. Celebrities, for example, are the perfect clients and they love to wear Lhuillier’s beautiful red-carpet ready gowns.
The Fall 2008 Monique Lhuillier collection, shown this morning in Bryant Park, was marvellous. It contained a real mixture of styles. For starters, Eugene Soulieman for GHD rolled the model’s hair and tucked under and pinned to the side. A black velvet headband featuring a flat, black velvet bow held the style in place, giving it the look of a 1920’s flapper style bob. As to the designs, there was something for everyone (with the ability to buy a designer gown), from gowns reminiscent of the dance dresses worn by Ginger Rogers (complete with feather trims), to slinky, luxuriously draped gowns favored by Claudette Colbert in the 1930’s, and lots of over-the-top glitz, fur, feathers, bling, and glamour. Many gowns featured heavy beading, sequins, and jewels, with a few gowns sporting huge, jeweled collars that must have weighed a ton, but dazzled the eye. The beading, the draping, and in some cases, the body conscious shapes were so full of glamorous details I kept thinking of Cher. No matter what the era the designs evoked, the effect was modern, and very luxurious, especially the chic, knee-length evening suits, some trimmed with fur that gave me the feeling of Carmen Marc Valvo, Oscar de la Renta or Carolina Herrera.
Although there was plenty of basic black, color is ruling the runways this season. Monique Lhuillier’s Fall 2008 collection featured color too: rich peacock blues, olive greens, gold, charcoal grey, and soft grey and raisin, predominated. There was plenty of slinky silk and flowing chiffon, but also heftier fabrics, many of which had metallic threads to create a special event feel. The necklines were modest and as to the hemlines of the short outfits, there wasn’t a micro-mini in the collection. These are clothes for real women, but real women who have money and fame. Most cocktail dresses and suits were demurely sitting at the knee. Gowns featured modest necklines, with the sex appeal coming from one-shoulder, strapless and low-backed gowns. Shoes bty Manolo Blanik and hoisery by Hue, completed the looks.
Makeup was created by Val Garland and the MAC Pro Team. I wasn’t backstage for this one but the makeup was obviously, as dramatic as the gowns. The eyes were seriously black, huge, smoky, almost evil. The cheeks were bright pink–very bright pink. Lips seemed a bit more modest–a good thing because the look could have generated from sensual to simply scary with any more color. Nails were by Creative Nail design. And although most of these dresses didn’t need a single bit more bling, there was Fine Jewelry from Fred Leighton.
With luxurious designs like these, you know the A-list celebs will come out in droves for diva dresses the average woman can only dream about. Front row-ers included Kim Raver, Amy Smart, Brittany Murphy, Sophia Bush, Becki Newton and Perrey Reeves. After the show, Brittany Murphy asked a friend to take a photo of her and this man (sorry, I’m not a celebrity follower so if you know who he is, please leave a comment and tell me?). They couldn’t get the angle right because the crush of people kept jostling them…but I snapped this one!
The crowd was dispersing. I snapped out of my dreamy state, knowing that the chances of yours truly ever wearing one of those gowns was pretty minimal….but just seeing someone else wear them cheered up my day.
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