Page 53 - Real Style Summer 2017
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deSigneR MoniQue lHuillier on heR LaSting L MaRRiage With faShion.
by hEidi hoFStad
eT Them eaT (WeDDing) Cake! Slicing through more than two decades in busi- ness, designer Monique Lhuillier’s eponymous label, which started in 1996, is coming up on 21 years. Known  rst-and-foremost for dressing celebrities for a stroll down the wedding aisle or on the red carpet, the designer continues to expand her fashion empire into a global lifestyle brand. With bridal, ready-to-wear, accessories, tabletop, home fragrance,  ne paper and collaborations with Pottery Barn Kids and, most recently, Essie—on a bridal-inspired line of nail polish (hinting at future opportunities in the beauty biz)—Lhuillier has kept us engaged (pun intended) since mak- ing dresses for her own wedding party, which launched her career in the fashion industry.
“I had nine bridesmaids and the mothers on both sides. People really liked the dresses and started asking me to do dresses for them. I decided there was a void in the market,” re ects Lhuil- lier on how her career took off. “But I didn’t set out to start in bridal—it just happened that that was where I was in my life. When I got engaged, I had graduated from design school, and looking for a dress put me in that direction,” she says.
Unveiling her Spring 2018 bridal Bliss collection at Carnegie Hall during New York Bridal Fashion Week, Lhuillier kept fans and fashion types swooning over tulle, Chantilly lace and chif- fon. “I’m still so passionate about what I do. For me one of the most invigorating parts is right be- fore my fashion show begins—seeing the lineup of the girls, I still get butter ies in my stomach,” she says. Her signature bejewelled embellishments and intricate embroidery added the  nishing touches (and in some cases a little sparkle) to each gown. Case in point:  oral motifs and a chande- lier-like cape made of strands of pearls and jewels that delicately hugged a model’s shoulders kept the overall feel traditional, yet on-trend.
“Since I’ve been doing both [bridal and ready-to-wear] I think my bridal collections are strong- er; the reason being that when I’m working with whites and ivories I’m excited again, because I’ve had my colour palette and I’ve had extreme openness to just be free and create. You know, bridal has more limitations; you’re dealing with limited colours and a traditional aesthetic with a little twist, whereas ready-to-wear I can just run free,” Lhuillier says.
For the Spring 2017 ready-to-wear collection, Lhuiller dipped into her archives for inspiration,
Photo, Monique LhuiLLieR

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