With hair in sleek ponytails and electric blue eye liner stretching to their
temples like racing stripes, Monique Lhuillier
's models looked like a
particularly fine class of first-round draft picks. Lhuillier was focused on
the body this season—most notably, on the athleticism that makes the body worth focusing on—and she fused elements of sport into her couture aesthetic. Bold color-blocking and sculpted seams lent an aerodynamic edge. The first look out, a strapless, seamed, blue and black corset dress, was as tight as a scuba suit, but much more appealing. Harness detailing appeared throughout; bodices were banded with leather, and sides were slashed open to expose sections of sheer black lace. An off-the-shoulder, cobalt blue cocktail dress wrapped in twisted tulle elicited actual sighs of desire from the front row.
For serious ball-gowning, Lhuillier's closing numbers came out in eye-popping cadmium yellow and in a graphic graffiti print. They were unexpected and a little daring for the red carpet; they would kill at a museum gala. At the end of the show, Mandy Moore turned to her front-row seat mate, the singer and Dancing With the Stars
winner Julianne Hough, and said sincerely, "That was fun!" We couldn't have said it better ourselves.