December 12, 2010 New York
Monique Lhuillier raided the garden last season. For pre-fall, she picked up the floral inspiration as well, though Spring's screen-printed gowns have mostly given way to more abstract florettes and blossom-evoking frills. The waist was a key focal point for Lhuillier: It was spotlighted in her daywear—pegged, high-waisted wool crepe cigarette pants and sash-tied dresses—as well as in her specialty, evening, with a selection of nipped-in gowns. But the collarbone received special attention, too—with all the layers of organza and tulle that wrapped around bodices and skirts, the shoulders were bared as often as not. Drama is the stock in trade of the house of Lhuillier, and this collection had plenty, played up by bold, jewel colors, including the emeralds and plums that we've been seeing throughout the pre-fall collections. When giant volume and bold color met, the result was occasionally siren-loud. But awards season is coming up, and red-carpet regulars love Lhuillier for just that reason: Neither she nor they are shrinking violets.
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