"This Spring Collection is my ethereal daydream," greeted the first sentence in the show notes at the Monique Lhuillier Spring 2015 bridal show during Bridal Fashion Week, and daydream it certainly was. Right on cue, a melodic symphony lazily drifted from the sound system, as each bride floated her way around the space before taking her spot on a makeshift stage and striking a picturesque pose. The result? A tableau vivant, or "living picture," showcasing the designer's entire bridal collection.
"This season, I wanted to do a portrait," the designer told InStyle.com excitedly backstage prior to the show. "I looked up John Singer Sargent's portraits, which inspired me to create beautiful, ethereal, regal gowns. Each gown is more fantasy than the last, as if she just walked out of a painting in a portrait. It's over the top; I didn't hold back."
True to her word, Lhuillier's creations embodied extravagance and elegance, each crafted from clouds of tulle, silk satin organza and Chantilly lace threaded with exquisite embroidery and beading, with some boasting more than 200 yards of tulle—though you wouldn't have been able to tell. "It's all about layering, it's about how we cut the layers in different lengths, so you don't feel the heavy volume," she explained. "All the dresses feel lightweight, airy and effortless. There’s nothing more unattractive to me than seeing a bride try so hard to be perfect."
While all the gowns were arresting and resplendent in their own way, it was hard to peel our eyes away from one in particular—the hydrangea blue. After 12 years of her signature pink, Lhuillier said she was ready to experiment with unexpected hues, dabbling in the cool color family and yielding Lhuillier-customized shades of mint, pistachio, and that beautiful hydrangea. "When I pictured this tableau, I thought it would be more interesting to have color be a part of the story, rather than seeing all whites—it was a nice breather," she said of her thought process. "I think the colors are so subtle that brides would be open to trying it."
Not quite ready for blues and greens on your wedding day? Each design will also be available in blush pink and white.
At the end of the show, the music was abruptly cut short—a deliberate decision on Lhuillier's part to jolt everyone back to reality: "I wanted to make you feel like you’re waking up from your dream, and that’s the story I wanted to tell."
1. Monique Lhuillier
Blush tulle cowl neck slip gown with lace appliqués, blush sling back sandal with side dart detail
2. Monique Lhuillier
Blush georgette strapless sweetheart lace gown with silk white embroidered tulle overlay and Watteau train, white lace sling back sandal
3. Monique Lhuillier
Silk white deep sweetheart illusion neckline lace hi-low gown with key-hole back, white lace and leather open toe ankle bootie with cut out detail
4. Monique Lhuillier
Ivory long sleeve embellished column gown with front slit and tulle overskirt, ivory satin sandal with side dart and crystal detail
5. Monique Lhuillier
Ivory long sleeve illusion floral lattice embellished sheath, pale gold lace-up platform sandal with clear crystals
6. Monique Lhuillier
Ivory illusion neckline lace gown with beaded appliquéd lace overlay and tulle embellished overskirt, pale gold platform sandal with ankle cuff and clear crystals
7. Monique Lhuillier
Silk white illusion long sleeve Chantilly lace gown with embroidered overly and tulle embellished overskirt, white lace open toe ankle strap sandal
8. Monique Lhuillier
Silk white lingerie strap alencon lace corset with full tulle tiered skirt, white satin caged lace up sandal with crystal detail
9. Monique Lhuillier
Ivory and nude strapless sweetheart trumpet gown with cascading beaded embroidered overlay, white lace sling back sandal
10. Monique Lhuillier
Ivory strapless sweetheart A-line embroidered tulle gown with matching embroidered shrug, pale gold lace-up platform sandal with clear crystals
11. Monique Lhuillier
Silk white and nude V-neck lace trumpet gown with tiered tulle skirt, ivory satin sandal with side dart and crystal detail
12. Monique Lhuillier
Silk white and nude asymmetric draped exaggerated drop waist tulle gown with floral embroidered skirt, white lace peep toe platform pump
13. Monique Lhuillier
Hydrangea silk gauze strapless drop waist bodice gown with full A-line floral embroidered skirt, silver platform sandal with ankle cuff and clear crystals
14. Monique Lhuillier
Mist sweetheart strapless tulle draped bodice gown with tiered skirt, silver metallic sling back sandal with side dart detail
15. Monique Lhuillier
Mist strapless silk gauze modified trumpet hand draped gown, silver metallic sling back sandal with side dart detail
16. Monique Lhuillier
Pistachio strapless embroidered A-line gown with matching embroidered illusion coverlet, pale gold platform sandal with ankle cuff and clear crystals
17. Monique Lhuillier
Silk white strapless Chantilly lace gown with tiered tulle and lace appliquéd skirt, white lace sling back sandal
18. Monique Lhuillier
One shoulder ivory hand draped silk satin ball gown with front tulle insert, white lace open toe ankle strap sandal
19. Monique Lhuillier
Silk white embellished Chantilly lace strapless drop waist gown with cascading tulle skirt, white lace peep toe platform pump
20. Monique Lhuillier
Ivory sweetheart bodice with lingerie straps and baroque embroidered tulle modified trumpet skirt, silver glitter leather caged bootie