Despite her very French name, Monique Lhuillier is a West Coast-based designer who started out in bridal before showing her first ready-to-wear collection in 2003. Her dresses have been appearing with increasing frequency on the red carpet, but, as her fall show demonstrated, Lhuillier knows how to appeal to a demographic beyond just celebrities.
Trading in the flirty florals she favored for spring, the designer mixed a little bit of naughty in with the nice. Delicate corsets peeked out from under cashmere cardigans and Chanel-y ribbon-trimmed tweed jackets, while a chocolate velvet tuxedo had a sexy, sophisticated edge. Not all her silhouettes worked. Sleek, super-narrow looks (exemplified by a double-crepe suit and a lovely A-line dress with lilac cummerbund) shared the stage with full-skirted and ruffled pieces that were more prom than cocktail. The real stars of the collection were Lhuillier's coats: Her bronze lamé trench and fox-trimmed embroidered overcoat would catch the eye of any paparazzo.