Photo: Brides via Instagram
With almost 20 years in the wedding business, Monique Lhuillier is an expert on all things bridal fashion, so we sat down with the designer to talk about her otherworldly Spring 2015 bridal collection, her favorite bridal trends, and perhaps most importantly, her top styling tips for brides-to-be.
For Spring 2015, this Californian designer was inspired by romance, daydreams, and a certain artist's paintings.
"For my spring collection, I was inspired by an ethereal daydream. I envisioned brides taking on an artful fantasy, and for our show I really wanted my guests to physically experience that," says Monique. "I drew inspiration from John Singer Sargent portraiture, and my goal was to showcase my gowns through a tableau vivant, a living picture, where the gowns looked like they were walking out of a painting. I wanted the gowns to have a regal feel; clouds of tulle, silk satin organza and our signature Chantilly lace infused with delicate embroidery and intricate beading to create a dreamy, alluring vision. I also experimented with color using pastel shades of blush, hydrangea, pistachio and mist, within the traditional palette of ivory and silk white."
Photo: John Aquino and Steve Eichner
There are some seriously gorgeous shapes in this collection — just take a look at the skirt on the "Riley" gown, and the beautiful draping of "Delphine".
"My signature fabric is lace. For me the key design detail is layering. I cut the layers in different lengths, so the gown is lightweight and where the bride does not feel the heavy volume. It is so important for my brides to feel effortless on their wedding day."
She loves shorter hemlines and surprising color choices for brides.
"A bride should always take into account her individual style when she plans her wedding look." Monique adds, "I love that brides are opting for unexpected hues, and long sleeves, once seen as conservative, are now an opportunity to showcase intricate fabric details. Shorter hemlines are also more common, and I designed a line of short dresses in laces and jacquards specifically for the bride who feels that less is more. Another trend that I love is a beautiful, unique headpiece to finish a bridal look. However, it's so important to remember that elegance is key, and to avoid overloading on dramatic accessories that can distract from the wedding dress."
She also reveals her top three tips for brides-to-be.
"On your wedding day, you should look like the most beautiful natural version of yourself; do not use this as an opportunity to try out a bold new lip color. Your pictures will last a lifetime, and you don't want to regret your makeup choices that day. Pack extra pins, double stick tape, and body shapers. The week leading up to your wedding is stressful, and every bride's body reacts to stress in different ways — including last minute weight loss or weight gain. It's important to be prepared with these styling tools in case your dress needs a last minute adjustment. I always encourage my brides to try to get their final fitting as close to their wedding day as possible so to ensure that the dress fits you perfectly. Also, drinks lots of water (double the normal amount!) the day before your wedding. When you wake up, you will look refreshed and feel hydrated."
Two of her most recent celebrity bridal clients wore two of her favorite custom gowns — long-sleeved silk tulle for Ginnifer Goodwin and bohemian Chantilly lace for Stacy Kiebler.
"Each bride is unique, and it is so important to capture their individual style. Most recently I designed dresses for Ginnifer Goodwin and Stacy Keibler. Ginnifer wore a romantic scoop neck, long-sleeved draped dress with a beautiful open back and matching veil. I created her gown by draping silk white tulle over a delicate layer of floral Chantilly lace. Stacy's dress was more bohemian, and completely effortless for her beach wedding. Her dress was created using a delicate Chantilly lace v-neck bodice with an ethereal, silk chiffon draped skirt."