view the full collection in our Photo Gallery
story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Adrianna Favero
web editor Rachel Reneé
After Monique Lhuillier’s radical foray into slinky urban goddesses with her Spring 2012 collection, her very pretty and demure Pre-Fall collection left me wondering if she was searching for some middle ground of artistic expression. Her Fall 2012 collection left no doubt that she’s not searching for anything, she’s showing that she can do both styles with ease and brilliance.
The collection was full of body-hugging silhouettes in cocktail dresses and suit separates. All done in deep reds, black (she called the color noir, which just about tells you everything you need to know), and a sprinkling of plum, green, gray, nude, and chocolate. The two other elements that dazzled were a print that Mrs. Lhuillier referred to as “lava” and very sexy lace work. It’s the lace work that primarily remains the link between the flowery and gentle creations that were her totem of a few seasons ago and the new bolder and more aggressive designs of the new now. Even that trademark element has been refashioned in to something that adds sexiness and mystery. Even what the designer herself once referred to as “sultry” in her Fall 2011 collection can’t hold a candle to the man-melting designs of the past two seasons.
Witness the two stunning leather cocktail dresses in the photos. Jaws and drinks alike fall shatteringly to the floor if those come to a cocktail party. It could be discerned what Monique Lhuillier was after by her use of short black leather gloves in many of the looks. Tight black leather gloves have a long history of cultural context as a signifier of a dangerous woman. They, like the dresses, blouses, pants and skirts of this collection all carried the message of a woman who embodies trouble of the most delicious kind.
It’s worth noting that this season also marked a deeper incursion into pieces that could be worn in an “office” setting (of course if you wear Monique Lhuillier to the office, then I want to see the view out your window, because I’ll bet it’s spectacular). There are growing noises of a desire to shake up what constitutes women’s professional wear, and growing evidence of fashion’s ready answer. This is a welcome development as more and more women confidently take their place as leaders on the world stage. The need arises because they seem to show an immediate disdain for fashion’s past versions of themselves. Fear not, corporate and political “titanesses” of the near future, Monique Lhuillier stands waiting to slip something just right around your shoulders.