New York Fashion Week Spring ’09: Monique Lhuillier

NEW YORK—A trip to the Bahamas inspired Monique Lhuillier’s island-getaway collection. The Los Angeles–based designer channeled the color palette of the islands—the sandy beaches and turquoise water and yellow wheat stalks—into her Spring ’09 collection. The completed look was tropical-island chic in breezy sunshine-fresh prints and luxurious fabrics. Lhuillier applied digital wheat-stalk and basket-weave prints to tops and dramatic long dresses to elongate the feminine form. Braided-straw belts and organic details updated the look. There were chic blouse and denim skirts ensembles for the ladies who lunch and sporty blazers and skinny pants for sophisticated travelers. And, of course, there were plenty of red-carpet gowns for celeb stylists to choose from, including Phillip Bloch, who was seated front row. For evening, Lhuillier went for lace fabrications, lots of volume and billowing silhouettes. She layered sheer fabrics to create the illusion of nude skin. “Spring/Summer is about great skin and showing if off,” Lhuillier said. —N. Jayne Seward