New York, NY — “Shanghai chic” was the name of the game at Monique Lhuillier’s fall 2010 showing, which took place February 15th during New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Inspired by Chinese warriors, it was a focused collection that showcased the designer’s affinity for beautifully-made separates and show-stopping gowns—all executed with a dramatic, sexy edge.
While Lhuillier is best known for creating the lust-worthy wedding gowns worn by starlets like Britney Spears and Alicia Silverstone, her ready-to-wear pieces—first presented at the Bryant Park tents seven years ago—are equally covetable. Drawing on the same ultra-feminine aesthetic that informs her bridal designs, Lhuillier crafts impeccable eveningwear, elegant day dresses and chic coats. True, there wasn’t a pair of pants to be found amidst the 37 looks she turned out for fall 2010, and no, these aren’t the kind of garments you just throw on to go grocery shopping, but that’s what makes Lhuillier so special.
Models marched down the runway in high-collar, long-sleeve mini-dresses and red jacquard skirt suits. In lieu of the ever-popular belted waist, a black corded tie nipped in the silhouette, adding to the Far East feel. With a palette of mostly black and red, gold accents and embellishment turned up the drama, while lace hosiery was an unexpected complement to the lacquered dragon-print dresses and coats. Braided buns, worn high on the head, and strong red lips completed the look.
The show ended on a high note with a series of uber-glam gowns, from a black sequin long-sleeve column with a futuristic vibe, to a more understated burgundy organza confection with a belted waist. The final look, a romantic duchesse satin gown with a skirt that resembled a bouquet of roses, would give the red carpet a run for its money. Celeb stylists, take note.