SOCIAL CLIMBER: Monique Lhuillier goes dragon red, vampire black and leather

Monique’s Fall colors. Photos by Elton Lugay

By Elton Lugay

The usually safe and subtle Monique Lhuillier is going bold this Fall.

For her February 11 standing-room press show at Lincoln Center, she went “sci-fi goddess warrior.” She talked to The FilAm about “going tougher” this season and creating style that shows “strong shoulders.”

Monique Lhuillier

“The ballgown was not really important in this collection. It’s all about slimmer silhouettes, sculpting the body. It’s a sexier side,” said the French-Cebuana Monique.

Red is her homage to the Year of the Dragon. Mix in fire print, lava and leather and swathes of silks until they all “create a new touch.”

About 50 stunning evening wear and red carpet gowns were worn by 24 models. (Btw, three of them lost their footing and slipped, channeling Carrie Bradshaw. All I’m saying is: Falling on one’s face is no longer that embarrassing. At NYFW, it’s a rite of passage. When the culprit is a pair of Manolo Blahniks, it’s pure pride and joy.)

I chatted up Monique’s husband Tom Bugbee backstage. Any favorites, I asked.

Hmm, tough question, but replied, “Black and red lace gown, high neck with open back.” He loved its “classic shape, our open back.”

“She worked a lot this season mixing fabrics whether it’s crave leather and satin. There was a lot more of that going on than we generally do, certainly with leather,” he said.

And who would wander into front row? No less than actress-model Nina Dobrev from “The Vampire Diaries.” She wore a blue, off-shoulder dress from Monique’s Spring ‘12 collection. Matthew McConaughey’s betrothed, Camila Alves, was also there. She wore a V-neck, belted bright yellow dress from the same collection. Is this what they mean by ‘fashion forward?’ They need to be one season ahead? Hah!

Visible motifs were red and black lace, leather and sequins, both solo or paired. It’s all about contrast. The show opened with leather, which later became the recurring inspiration. There was a black leather dress with red lace. Plum, gold and silver would pop up at some point but it was mostly reds and blacks.

Breathtakingly carnal.

All the models wore eye make-up with fiery red lips
HAIR by Odile Gilbert for Kérastase Paris
MAKEUP by Val Garland for M.A.C.
ACCESSORIES: Black lace-up
Manolo Blahnik stilettos and Gloves by Carolina Amato


  1. epeeSF wrote:

    Bold and beautiful! Love ’em!

  2. M. Matthews wrote:

    Great fashion photography, Indeed!

    M. Matthews, you brand new fan in NYC

  3. Joel Valderrama wrote:

    supercalifragilisticexpialidocius 🙂

  4. Elton Lugay wrote:

    Epee, Mr. Mathews and Joel: Thank you so much for dropping by and taking the time to say hi. There will be more, please keep coming back.

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