Monique Lhullier: dark femininity

After a delay of 40 minutes and with a verbal fight having erupted amongst two guests eager to prove that they’d arrived before the other, Monique Lhullier fall 2011 collection unveiled itself upon a New York fashion week catwalk decorated by bare branches frozen in the midst of Winter. With paced strings drowning out the sound of all else, strings that both myself and my Icelandic companion swear were actually from the soundtrack of Christopher Nolan’s Batman, what emerged was proof that today’s showings were all about interpreting the ideal of the women’s gown and dresses. However, her pieces differentiate from the day’s other standout show, Jenny Packham‘s, in that they don’t feel exclusively for the youthful.

That’s a differentiation that comes about as a result of the inspiring era. Monique Lhullier’s interpretation of the gown is one that plays to the classics, which is precisely what she delivered on the first day New York day that has offered a hint of the spring weather to come. So too does the rest of her collection play to the classics, cherry picking cuts form tailored womenswear from the 40s and 50s and applying them to everything from pencil skirts to knit tops.

It’s Lhullier’s use of cloth, more so than cut, that is most striking. Layers and differentiation of cuts are used to great effect. The collection’s lace, frankly gorgeous in person, that is used to visually lighten heavier pieces, sensually highlighting backs, shoulders and thigh. In contrast, other fabric’s were used to give life to pieces resulting in beautiful movement; the train on particular tulle pieces floating behind, while fishtail dresses, not always a favourite, were done with such structure that the seemed to float both in front and behind of the model.

Largely dark, but holly feminine, Monique Lhullier‘s autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 collection captured the essence of winter without ever losin the delicacy befitting of elegant women. You can see the entire collection by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the photos.