In recent seasons, Monique Lhuillier
has focused on addressing the day-to-day needs of her customers, who remain loyal to the designer's red carpet-ready evening gowns but are also requesting smart separates and cocktail attire that still feels special. At a showroom preview, Lhuillier described her latest Pre-Fall lineup as "a bit more streamlined and urban." She demonstrated a flair for tailoring with a navy tuxedo cape, slimming boot-cut trousers, and a mannish topcoat that complemented a graphic shift featuring allover harlequin diamonds and a tough leather harness detail at the neckline. Lace is always a strong category for Lhuillier, and she showed it in a variety of charming ways here, notably on a delicate bomber jacket and a long, cutaway shirtdress that looked modern paired with pants. Elsewhere, she took the doily stuff in a more familiar, feminine direction with long-sleeve sheaths and A-line frocks that collaged together pieces of appliquéd lace in a rainbow of pretty jewel tones. In addition to those after-hours standouts, Lhuillier's fans will also go for her new collection of shoes, which included—for the first time—several pairs of elegant flats. "More than ever, women are conscious of being comfortable," she said.