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August 27 2014

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13 posts tagged "Monique Lhuillier"

Frill-Seeker’s Paradise

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Monique Lhuillier’s opulent gowns are enough to make a girl feel like a fairy princess. And now, after 16 years in business, fairyland has an East Coast address. Last month, Lhuillier finally opened her dream New York flagship on the Upper East Side, a milestone she officially celebrated yesterday evening with an appropriately luxe soirée. She and husband Tom Bugbee (the company’s CEO) discovered the 1890s townhouse two years ago and have been renovating it ever since. “We combined what was an existing retail store on the street level with a gallery that was available upstairs, then bought a one-bedroom apartment in the back, and somehow put it all together,” Lhuillier said of the 3,000-square-foot space. “All of the nooks and crannies make the experience private, like you’re discovering something, which is different from my very open store in Los Angeles.” (Not to mention from her unexpected third store in Edina, Minnesota.) Appointed with gray suede walls, jewel-box vitrines, and Lhuillier’s own Waterford crystal chandeliers (comparable models from the Monique Lhuillier Waterford lighting collection for sale, for the curious), the New York location greets guests with accessories and ready-to-wear on the ground floor, while the bridal collection, which makes up about 60 percent of the label’s sales, is stationed upstairs.

“Upon opening the store, we instantly saw just how ready people here were for us, and that’s a great feeling,” explained the designer. Despite setting up shop in the Big Apple, Lhuillier will keep most of her operations based on the West Coast, where the Hollywood set can’t seem to get enough of her red-carpet-ready frocks—or frock. Recently, Nicki Minaj attracted tabloid attention when she arrived at the American Music Awards in a chartreuse gown that Julie Bowen had already worn to collect her Emmy. “I had no idea Nicki Minaj was going to turn up in that Resort look, and I loved how over-the-top she made it—completely different from when Julie Bowen wore the same one at the Emmys.” One had to wonder if somewhere, a publicist’s head had rolled for the double loan. “Nicki and her stylist actually went into the store and bought it,” Lhuillier said. “So, no, everything you see on those girls isn’t always borrowed.”

Monique Lhuillier is now open at 19 E. 71st St., NYC, (212) 683-3332, moniquelhuillier.com

Surfer, Skater, Chola, Star

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For many in fashion, L.A. is a full coast away from where the real action is. “Style in L.A. is sort of an oxymoron,” admits former L.A. Times writer and journalist Melissa Magsaysay. “It’s jeans and it’s T-shirts. But what’s wrong with that?” In hopes of changing the conversation surrounding style in the City of Angels, Magsaysay penned City of Style: Exploring Los Angeles Fashion, from Bohemian to Rock.

While following the contemporary market in L.A., the author realized that mass market brands were referencing L.A.’s ease and attitude as inspiration—without necessarily wanting to admit it. “No one will acknowledge it because it’s not Dior and Vuitton. But to me, it doesn’t have to be those labels and brands to be stylish, per se.” City of Style combines street-style photography with interviews with some of the city’s reigning tastemakers, ranging from Monique Lhuillier and Trina Turk to Phillip Lim and even Slash. Magsaysay makes the case for L.A.’s own native style archetypes, which need no reference to Paris prêt-à-porter or New York cool: its skaters, surfers, rockers, cholas, bohemians, and glamour-pusses of the old Hollywood screen-star mold. “They’re not trends but actual looks that came about from subcultures, music, and counterculture—what I think are inherent and totally unique to the city,” she says. They hint at an L.A. beyond the old jeans-and-tees cliches, and according to stylist/designers (and City of Style subjects) Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, they may prove more influential than many yet admit—even outside city limits. “In the past decade, L.A. has really come into its own in having a distinctive and relevant fashion sensibility,” the duo tells Style.com.

City of Style: Exploring Los Angeles Fashion, from Bohemian to Rock is available at Barnes and Noble May 22.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Black And White

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In 2011, vibrant colors made their bold return to the runways. While the Spring ’12 and pre-fall collections have shown no sign of the color trend disappearing, black and white is popping up in a big way. Designers including Monique Lhuillier, Maria Cornejo, and Phillip Lim all worked the classic color combo into their pre-fall collections. Karl Lagerfeld even managed to make black and white looks a centerpiece of his Indian-inspired Chanel presentation. (Black and white might be quintessentially Coco, but in Bombay, that’s not so much the case.) As pre-fall collections continue to roll out, we’ll be watching to see if the trend carries on.

Photo: Photo: Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com; Juan Pablo Montalva / Courtesy of Zero + Maria Cornejo; Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim

L.A. Art Scene In Full Bloom

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“This is always one of my very favorite parties to come to,” said Jenni Kayne at the Hammer Museum’s Gala in the Garden in L.A. on Saturday. The annual benefit bash was an animated affair—literally, in this case, honoring The Simpsons creator Matt Groening and artist Lari Pittman.

Kayne was in good company. Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Jack Black, and Neil Patrick Harris all came to take in the scene, as well as to check out the Ed Ruscha exhibition, which was kept open for the duration of the evening. (Bruno Mars was on hand to perform, if all that wasn’t entertainment enough.)

Keeping up the fashion quotient of the evening were Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte and Monique Lhuillier (pictured). “It’s about supporting the arts, in every form,” Lhuillier said. The arts, in turn, have been supporting her. “In this last collection, I did have a lot of brushstrokes,” she said. “[Artist] James Nares was a very big influence in the prints that I created.”

Photo: Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images

Sigerson, Morrison, Out at Sigerson Morrison; Lily Aldridge To Say I Do; And More…

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Sad news for shoehounds: The latest designer departure is Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison, who announced today that they are parting ways with their eponymous footwear brand, Sigerson Morrison. [WWD]

Happier news comes courtesy of model Lily Aldridge (left), who confirmed that she’ll marry her boyfriend, Kings of Leon front man Caleb Followill, in May. [Page Six]

Speaking of weddings, Reese Witherspoon just had hers this weekend: The bride married CAA agent Jim Toth at her ranch in Ojai, wearing—as expected—custom Monique Lhuillier. [Us]

And the Times wants to know: What’s up with all these fashion ambassadors, anyway? [NYT]

Photo: Elizabeth Perrin