Designer of incredibly luxurious gowns and dresses, Monique Lhuillier’s namesake line has become synonymous with glamour. Her creations are a red carpet standard, and fit the female body with flattering perfection. Shopbop chatted with Monique about her early start in design, her inspiration, and the secret to looking great.
SHOPBOP: You’ve been sketching from a very young age. How did you bring your early pieces to life?
MONIQUE LHUILLIER: When I was young and attending events, I worked with local tailors to alter dresses I had bought or created looks from scratch. I always had a vision in my mind, and would adjust garments until I got them just right. I grew up with a very glamorous mother. Her elegance and chic style were my earliest influences. I was naturally inclined to design specialty dresses and gowns.
SB: Your designs are incredibly glamorous and luxurious. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
ML: I’ve always gravitated toward a more glamorous aesthetic. My mother is such a sophisticated, regal woman, and when I was growing up, I didn’t know anything different. I thought all women lived life that way! My sister and I loved watching her get ready and transform. She entertained beautifully and was always the belle of the night.
SB: What trends were you excited to work into your collection this year?
ML: For pre-fall, I enjoyed really pushing the envelope on some of my signature elements. Lace is reoccurring in my collections, and this season I introduced a melted lace. It’s romantic, but with a bit of an edge. The Leather Armor Sheath Dress was one of my favorite looks, and was a reinterpretation of classic embellishment. The layered leather paillettes add texture and create depth, but the look is light, effortless, and totally glamorous.
SB: What advice do you have for a woman looking for a special occasion gown?
ML: Wear what makes you feel confident! Women look their most beautiful when they feel their most confident. Especially if you’re attending a big event, it’s important to be comfortable. Choose a silhouette that flatters your figure, and if you want to stand out, wear color.
SB: If you could design for any woman in history, who would it be and why?
ML: For a long time, I dreamt of designing for First Lady Michelle Obama. I had the honor of dressing her for the White House Correspondents’ dinner earlier this year, and it was a career and life highlight! I think it would have been incredible to design for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She was the epitome of sophistication and was such a confident, fearless woman.
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