February 13, 2011 New York
Lhuillier used the absence of color to play with texture, most notably employing lace to conceal and reveal. For day it was embroidered over seemingly nude sleeves on a black blouse or on the bodice of a wool crepe cocktail dress. Elsewhere, a short black jacket in taffeta jacquard was frayed along the edges of its tiered, triangular hem; it added an edge of unexpected toughness to a collection that could quite easily rest on the strength of its gala gowns. And those gowns? They were stunners. A Chantilly lace corset number had a naughty bondage detail: lacquer braided belts that looped under and around the bodice to form a crisscrossing halter in the back. But that was tame in terms of sheer drama. The skirt of one red-carpet contender was made of gathered tulle and about a thousand ostrich feathers. It elicited more than a few front-row gasps.