Monique Lhuillier: The Tale of Snow White and Her Evil Stepmother

    The Monique Lhuillier Fall 2014 collection modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Feb. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    NEW YORK—Nobody would say about Monique Lhuillier that she is a diamond in the rough, because she isn’t, but just as a diamond reveals its sparkle as it is polished, Lhuillier showed a different facet with her Fall 2014 ready-to-wear collection. And she’s a black diamond.

    Monique “is very dramatic this season, very mysterious. Lots of textures. Lots of different lengths and silhouettes, and a lot of intricate details with a twist,” the designer told The Associated Press on February 8.

    Lhuillier’s relatively restrained use of beadwork, for which she is known, gave way to a more painterly approach with regards to color and contrast.

    Various shades of pink combined with gray and black culminated in a billowing black silk taffeta gown and cape adorned with bold fuchsia embroidery at the edge. This must be the evil stepmother from Snow White—huge, flowing, and overwhelming in dramatic effect.

    Work ensembles manifested in black, gray, and combinations thereof with textural interest that sometimes resembled crochet. A maxi skirt and short sleeve shirt were entirely made out of a circle-patterned knit with an organza long sleeve shirt underneath that finished off with fur cuffs—the whole outfit in green-gray. If Snow White had days at the office, she might wear this in an attempt to blend in. It is a play on transparency that ultimately succeeds because it makes for a pretty contrast to rosy cheeks and pale lips.

    There was plenty of pale skin showing through lace-covered necklines as well in the cocktail dresses. This time it was more “fishnet lace which in the past would have been floral lace, but this season is about abstract embellishments,” Lhuillier said.

    Then suddenly, an apparition in a blush-colored beaded gown with long, sheer sleeves and a high-low hem that revealed transparent lace booties—it’s none other than the innocent princess herself. A vision of purity and innocence, it upstaged all other embroidered protagonists. It was like the last scene in a movie that lets you know that “there is light after darkness and the powers of goodness will prevail.”

    But that comes later, in the sequel.



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