Monique Lhuillier Spring 2009
Where & When: Tuesday, September 9th at 11 a.m., the Promenade, Bryant Park
Runway Recap: Monique Lhuillier owns the distinction of having designed Britney Spears' wedding dress, but she, along with Vera Wang, are arguably two of the most famous bridal designers around. Like Wang, Lhuillier also can crank out a mean red carpet dress. But unlike Wang, who seems hell-bent on proving that she doesn't just do pretty, Lhuillier seems perfectly content--and, in fact, excels--at exploring new and unusual ways to make women appear, well, pretty. This collection was inspired by a tropical-island vacation, and while that might conjure visions of tacky-bright colors and caftans, Lhuillier explored the theme in beautifully abstract ways, like wheat-stalk and wicker prints; denim for night, adorned with Aztec embroidery; and organza embroidered to look like lace. Also strong were gowns with layers of sheer tulle and chiffon, creating volume without bulk. Sure, there was an occasional shot of azure blue, but mixed in with the otherwise soft color palette, it looked as fresh as a dip in the ocean. Any of the front-row starlets present--Malin Ackerman, Perrey Reeves, Elizabeth Banks, and Zoe Saldana--would be lucky to wear one of Lhuillier's gowns on the red carpet.
Standout Look: This is one of the aforementioned wicker prints (doesn't look like wicker, does it?), with Aztec embroidery at the neckline--two completely unexpected elements that meet in a classical goddess silhouette to create an absolutely beautiful gown.
Bonus Points: I loved the wicker runway. Also, thanks to the cameraman who, in spite of hovering mere inches above my head for most of the show, managed not to hit my head with his scary big camera on a mechanical arm.
Where to Buy: Saks, Bergdorf Goodman

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