Monique Lhuillier may be best known for her
dreamy bridal gowns and red carpet-worthy ready-to-wear pieces, but this summer, the New York-based designer is launching a completely new type of collection: a tableware line in collaboration with Waterford crystal. ELLE Canada caught up with Lhuillier while she was in Toronto to talk first fashion memories, why she’s not a fan of
Say Yes to the Dress and the inspiration behind her fall 2012 collection.

What is your first fashion memory?
“When I was two or three years old, I would change my dress five times a day. My mother was a children’s clothing designer. Now, my daughter does the same thing. I’m like, ‘Oh no, she’s just like me!’ Fashion definitely runs in the family.”

Why did you decide to create a collection with Waterford crystal?

“I thought it was so exciting, like a twist on my fashion designs. One of the biggest trends in my spring bridal collection was this blush colour, and I translated that to the collection. It’s not too pink, just the perfect shade of blush. In one of my best-selling dresses, the Sunday Rose, there are abstract roses on the skirt, so I introduced that to my tableware collection as well.”

You are so well-known for your incredible bridal pieces. Why have weddings captured your imagination?
“I’m from the Phillipines, and
weddings are very important in my culture. I’ve been going to weddings since I was a little girl. I would look at the bride in awe, it’s such a special moment. Then, when I got engaged 18 years ago, I thought, there’s a void in the market place! That’s where I should start! That’s how the first Monique Lhuillier bridal gown was born. And here we are, 17 years married and with a great business. It was our destiny, I think.”

What does Monique Lhuillier think of Say Yes to the Dress? Find out on the next page…
Do you ever watch Say Yes to the Dress?

“I’ve watched it once! I have to admit, I wasn’t drawn to it. I think it took away the elegance and mystique of finding the gown. But I can definitely see why people enjoy that show!”

What’s your design process?

“Materials first! Fabrics speak to me. I look at a lot of prints, and collect ideas, and then I sit down and edit. What remains, remains.”

Tell us a little bit about your fall collection. It was a bit of a departure for you, right?

“Yes! Fall was a little tougher, it was for an edgier girl. I wanted her to have that glamour and elegance, but I wanted her to be a little darker. I mixed leathers in dresses that were more intricate. It was about slim sleeves, and longer, leaner silhouettes. There were fiery prints, and a lot of red. But people want to dress like that, and as a woman, I always follow my instincts!”

What’s your favourite piece from your fall collection?

“I loved the long gown with red, matte silk and leather insets. It just felt right. I was happy. I like to push the creativity. I don’t like to do what people expect of me. This is the time for me to push boundaries and take risks. I like to do that. I’m also working with leathers now, and in my resort show I have this braided leather gown. It’s so much darker, and more intricate than I’ve ever done before!”

How do you stay inspired?

“I know how to live life! I travel a lot, I surround myself with people who inspire me, I love art and interior design. I stay on top of those things, and inspiration comes.”

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Victoria Beckham Fall/Winter 2012-13 collection
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