Q&A with Fashion Designer Monique Lhuillier
To celebrate the arrival of the spring 2015 collection for BLISS Monique Lhuillier wedding dresses, we caught up with the designer behind the brand. We just couldn’t miss an opportunity to chat about her gorgeous bridal gowns (and bridesmaid dresses!), the risk she recommends brides take and her favorite thing about being in the bridal business.
The Wedding Suite: Tell us three things we would be surprised to know about you.
1. I started my bridal business after looking for my own wedding dress almost 20 years ago, because I felt there was a void in the marketplace for fashion-infused dresses.
2. I love the outdoors. I am from California, and I love hiking and spending time with my family in the sun.
3. I’m half French and half Filipino.
What’s the most important thing about designing a wedding dress?
For me, my bridal gowns must emanate romance and fantasy. I offer all different types of dresses that will make a bride feel glamorous and alluring on her wedding day. When designing, I focus on the gowns feeling very feminine, marked by exquisite workmanship and luxurious fabrications.
What’s distinctive about your new BLISS collection; what sets it apart?
I subtly infused color into this collection. I wanted a beautiful pastel color palette including tones of pale blush and latte all mixed with soft silk layers, white tulle and lace. You’ll find exquisite design details: beautiful combinations of Chantilly lace with overlays of draped tulle and delicate embroidered lace appliqués in addition to cascading hemlines edged with horsehair trim.
How does BLISS differ from your namesake collection?
BLISS Monique Lhuillier is inspired by a feminine, elegant and youthful bride. This collection provides a curated collection of romantic dresses that are punctuated with fresh styles that embody my signature design aesthetic. I provide distinct silhouettes—from stunning trumpet-shaped gowns and ethereal sheaths to whimsical ballgowns—all at an accessible price point.
What is one bridal fashion risk you would recommend to brides?
Experiment with color on your wedding day. I love pale pink or blush for a touch of the unexpected; it can be quite enchanting for brides who are looking for something nontraditional.
What’s different about designing a bridesmaid dress versus a wedding dress?
The process is quite different, and I actually look to my ready-to-wear line for inspiration. Bridesmaids want to feel beautiful, comfortable and even a bit fashion appropriate when they are walking down the aisle. I try to provide dresses they could wear again for a special occasion and offer colors that will complement them.
What advice do you have for brides as they choose their bridal parties’ wardrobe?
The process of choosing your bridesmaids is hard, but finding a dress they will all agree on is sometimes even harder. As the bride, I think it is necessary to set the direction for what you want your bridesmaids to look like on your big day. The more guidance they have, the less likely they are to go astray. This means giving them hair and makeup direction, accessory parameters and, most of all, very specific information on what you want in their dresses. It’s important to select a bridesmaid dress that fits into your color scheme, but it’s most important for your bridesmaids to feel beautiful and at ease. Selecting one color is the easiest way to have a cohesive look; then allow the bridesmaids to select the style they are most comfortable with.
What’s your favorite thing about being in the bridal business?
The bridal business is rewarding because it all revolves around such a special day. To have the opportunity to make a bride feel beautiful, confident and glamorous on this momentous occasion is such an honor.
SHOP: Monique Lhuillier