"Women have busy lives. Their clothes need to be real," said Monique Lhuillier at her studio the day before her show. With reality in mind, the glam gown designer thought about the key pieces in a multitasking wardrobe—shirtdress, T-shirt, sweater—stripped them down, and remade them in deluxe fabrics. Real equals versatile, so the beaded collars on lace shells and a beautifully printed Chantilly lace shirtdress were detachable—for those real-life moments when a snazzy collar just won't do—and the opening confections in sheer cloque came with matching petal pink bandeaux. A guipure lace "sweatshirt" in bright poppy delivered on Lhuillier's promise of gourmet standards; cut like a blouse, it had a touch of structure but no stiffness.
By now, Lhuillier has proved that she's more than just gowns. Her daywear is always considered and restrained, and she extends a level of handicraft to her pieces that makes even a romper feel like an occasion. But she's got major game when it comes to gowns, and this season was no exception. Still, the best evening look today was actually a silk linen gazar bandeau in hot pink, worn with a very full draped ball skirt in persimmon. A sliver of skin appeared beneath the bandeau and above the skirt's high waist. Sexy and super-sophisticated, it would kill on the red carpet. A panoply of gorgeous dresses followed—some beaded, some printed, one covered entirely in quivering organza flowers—but nothing quite matched that look for its supreme simplicity. Starlets, queue up.