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Monique Lhuillier Spring 2011 Show — A True Garden Of Eden

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Utter Monique Lhuillier‘s name and, chances are, those listening will conjure up visions of elegant brides holding lush bouquets tied with satin ribbons, their manes adorned with baby’s breath wreaths. After all, next to Vera Wang, Lhuillier might just be the most sought-after designer among affluent brides. But her talents extend far beyond the chapel bound, and in no instance was this more apparent than in her Spring 2011 runway show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.

Inspired by the Garden of Eden, Lhuillier’s Spring 2011 collection featured perfectly tailored, high-waisted, apple red trousers and pencil skirts, celestial white organza blouses with floral embellishments, green ombre gowns, halo-like gold tweed skirts, shimmering sequined pieces, and dewy mint and sky blue chiffon and organza gowns. Cherry blossom and red rose prints completed the orchard motif, while brown and bronze reptile prints alluded to the beguiling serpent tempting Adam and Eve.

In Lhuillier’s interpretation of the Garden of Eden, the angelic prevails over the seedy, with silk organza and chiffon fabrics practically hovering above the female form like heavenly nebulae. A one-shoulder blush pink blouse (pictured above, at top) clung to the model’s form like a second skin, its fan organza floral detailing wrapping her figure like a sash made of freshly-plucked daisies. Paired with an exquisitely tailored pair of apple red trousers, the look was beyond enticing, luring audiences to look closer, to examine the embellishments yet another time, to revel in the sheerness of the organza. Similarly, a mint green, above-the-knee, strapless organza dress with all-over petal details (pictured second from top) quenched our thirst for sophistication with its dewy fresh, ethereal quality. Even raffia tweed, a rather heavy fabric compared to chiffon and silk, seemed as fluid as liquid gold under Lhuilier’s care — a sleeveless, V-necked, below-the-knee cocktail dress (pictured above, third from top) in an antique gold hue embraced every inch of the model’s form, making her look like a prized golden statue. While floral prints did abound, Lhuilier managed to harvest her utopian garden without relying solely on patterns, instead manipulating fabrics to create the desired texture and visual illusion: blue and green ombres recalled watercolor paintings, cascading petal or leaf shapes hinted to the lush landscape, and feathered details reminded us of the wonders of flight. Ultra slim gold belts, meanwhile, accented numerous pieces like sparkling round halos.

Some of Lhuillier’s pieces truly did transcend the human ream, touching the divine. Her ball gowns were particularly stunning — especially a strapless, watercolor-like, red rose print number with a ballooning, three-tiered, hand bustled skirt and a fitted bodice (pictured last above). Another stunner: a light teal blue gown with a draped, ombre bodice and a full skirt featuring cascading organza petals.

Though the cherry blossom print featured in some of the collection’s pieces felt a bit too antiquated, like a memento from the Marie Antoinette era or a re-used piece of Victorian style upholstery, Lhuillier’s missteps in this collection were few (not to mention debatable and completely subjective). If a Saint Peter of style were to reign above the fashion world, then, he would not hesitate to let Lhuillier through the pearly gates.

For more highlights from the collection, make sure to check out the remaining photos after the jump.

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