Maybe it's because she's based in the world's film capital, but Monique Lhuillier has a flair for the dramatic. Unlike many top designers who reside on the East Coast, Lhuillier has stuck to her southern California roots.
Her thriving Los Angeles-based business is fueled in part by her close relationships with Hollywood starlets and their stylists. Hollywood stylist Brad Gorenski, now a regular on Fashion Police, has long been a front-row regular at Lhuillier's New York shows.
With the Oscars just around the corner, Lhuillier showcased several body-hugging gold gowns at New York Fashion Week, which stylists are likely to tussle over for the big event. She also featured gowns, dresses and coats in jewel tones — emerald, plum, cobalt and teal — that the camera loves.
The collection was toned down from previous seasons — no big skirts or bright floral patterns — just figure-flattering eveningwear, some with cutouts; liquid satin dresses with a '70s vibe; lace sheaths and cigarette pants; and coats in mohair, shearling or a muted camo jacquard print. Lhuillier also featured strappy sandals and jeweled minaudières from her new accessories collection, which she debuted on the runway.
Lhuillier presented the collection in an unusual way, as a tiered platform stage took up half of the large theater at Lincoln Center. The 36 models weaved their way along the steps until the show ended with all of them facing the audience, who took in the entire collection in the dramatic finale.
Now that's entertainment.