I’m an ’80s girl—and more and more I realize I’m not alone. Consciously or not, Millennials and Gen-Zers are finding their way to ’80s sounds and styles at the same time that those of us who were there are indulging in nostalgia. Speaking via Zoom, Monique Lhuillier said she was trying to capture a “1980s couture” vibe in her fall collection.
Voilà the return of the pouf. It looked sassy and sexy in stretch fabrics cut to mini lengths. I say yes to more short evening options across the board, they look fresh and relevant. “There are a lot of mini dresses in the collection because I believe women take care of themselves and they want to maximize [their look],” the designer said.
Each season Lhuillier travels to a new location to shoot her lookbook. Fall’s French chateau, chosen for its architectural integrity, was the perfect foil for a collection that she wanted to be more clean lined. “I was really going for a lot of statement looks,” explained the designer. “I wanted to make these iconic moments, and I did that by keeping the silhouette more modern and minimal and then adding volume. Lhuillier also gave a lot of attention to necklines; an asymmetric style lined with sparkling crystal had a bit of an Elsa Schiaparelli spirit. The richness of stretch velvet also contributed to the luxe feeling of the clothes. One black velour number had some of the sophistication of the dress worn by Madame X in John Singer Sargeant’s famous portrait, which has lost none of its potency over time.
The brights and the body-consciousness of many of the looks (long and short) built out Lhuillier’s ’80s story, which was a strong and convincing one. The inclusion of more traditionally decorative and prettily feminine pieces in lace, florals, and embroidery was a distraction. Less can indeed be more.