Monique Lhuillier Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2014 New York

So this is how Monique Lhuiller does dark. Save for a touch of pink worked in here and there, it was a palette that evoked Victoriana with its black, blush and muted metallic. She even threw a skull print in there. Of course, this is Lhuillier’s show so it still was filled with glamorous sweetness, but it definitely felt like a departure.

Daywear – something recently addressed and still feels a little novel from this red-carpet expert – made nods to tailoring for a subtle play on androgyny. An untied lavaliere could easily have been a pussycat bow but with gaucho pants, it was a little Marlene Dietrich. Mid-calf lengths, although not handsome on everyone, telegraphed deep classic femininity while materials made concessions to modernity both in texture and visually; vinyl and lace nets played with the light on the same level as the later beaded cocktail frocks.

But what anyone really wants from Lhuillier is the gowns. The drama was on full display in a blush one with a kicky flurry of tulle at the bottom, baroque swirls tumbling down from the shoulders. Other gowns looked a little more streamlined and restrained, even when their volumes were sweeping the width and breadth of the runway. Playing on the length by a slanting hemline, they flashed their vivid linings or revealed the season’s lace footwear. And in that, the designer has tapped into today's red carpet wants; with the upcoming awards season, many a-starlet will be considering those.

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