Monique Lhuillier never fails to disappoint! Women love her fabulous wedding gowns and her prêt-à-porter collections are always bursting with gorgeous looks. Her latest work is an outstanding offering, and one that I’m sure brand lovers will adore just as much (if not more) as previous shows. I LOVE every piece!
Spring 2016 is decidedly more sophisticated than previous seasons have been, with Ms. Lhuillier’s signature youthful femininity being tempered with sculptural shapes and whimsical embellishments that create something truly refined. While her familiar A-line, column and trumpet silhouettes returned to the catwalk, they were more streamlined than they’ve been in the past. Clean lines replaced flounces and ruffles, with Ms. Lhuillier relying on a fresh colour palette and intricate embellishment to keep these no-fuss looks fresh and fabulous.
Statement colours of fuchsia, strawberry red, lipstick pink, electric blue, emerald green, violet and tangerine where used extensively throughout the collection, and often paired together to spectacular effect! Vivid combinations like a cobalt blue and white column gown or a fuchsia and emerald green minidress were eye-catching inclusions to the lineup. Equally fabulous is that if used singularly, these colours are still effortlessly dramatic.
Ms. Lhuillier’s love of flowers was out in full force with blooms appearing both as prints on fabric, and as 3D ornamentation. A pretty paint- splattered floral print was used in a series of floaty chiffon gowns, while an intricate poppy motif appeared throughout the collection on silk. Swirling flowers were woven out of lace and tiny crystal flowers were sprinkled over the necklines and bodices of many looks. The chiffon gowns were some of the best looks in the show, with their floaty, simplistic forms lending an ethereal tone to a collection that otherwise focused on all-out glamour.
Other highlights of the night included Ms. Lhuillier’s fresh take on cocktail dressing and her new focus on dressy trouser-centric outfits. In previous seasons, the designer’s cocktail dresses have always veered toward voluminous silhouettes, but this season’s looks were remarkably sleek. Sculptural folds lent subtle volume to slim asymmetrical dresses, while pleats and layered embellishments gave contouring and form to loose sheaths.
Elegant trouser-based ensembles were another high point, with slim tunics and tailored trousers providing a fresh alternative to a feminine tuxedo suit for evening events. An electric blue bustier top with a trailing sash worn over a pair of silky flares was particularly impressive- anyone wearing that will be making a stunning statement when seen from either the front or the back. It’s simply fabulous!
Layers were a big theme this season and Ms. Lhuillier showed them to perfect excess. The results were stunning: guipure lace crop tops were thrown over evening dresses and long-sleeved tunics, lacy bandeaus appeared over strapless dresses, slim pencil skirts and pleated trousers were topped with silky smocks, while gorgeous jewel-toned fur shrugs trumped traditional outerwear choices.
It’s a great collection and one that allows consumers to see a new side of Ms. Lhuillier’s considerable design expertise. This certainly isn’t a repackaging of her wedding line. The designer always takes a fresher, funkier approach when designing prêt-à-porter as this line primarily appeals to a younger clientele, and this time, she made a point to emphasize whimsical, youthful silhouettes and eye-catching details. The house’s trademark femininity and gorgeous (almost couture- level) detailing that’s prevalent in her wedding collections still played a huge role, but the interpretation and exploration of her chosen themes are completely new.
There’s a lot to love in this collection, and it’s clear that Monique Lhuillier knows exactly how to cater to both her loyal customers while attracting a new ones (the row of young starlets lining her runway proves this). Prêt-à-porter is a new world for the designer, but oh how well she fits into it!
Monique Lhuillier, how utterly chic!