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Monique Lhuillier and the Future Royal

Spring is beginning to reveal itself in New York City. In the morning, the birds sing their songs, and are even out and about. I spotted a single cardinal outside my window, its smooth red coat a shock to its surroundings; its sighting a pleasure, the kind that makes you aware that you’re smiling to yourself. But back to the fact that it is almost spring in New York. Boots are beginning to feel oppressive. (Socks, too.) And if you do a slight “wog,” a cross-between a walk and a jog, for about ten blocks, sweat will, unfortunately, break on your face, as happened to me as I clambered through midtown and eventually up the marble stairs of the Palace Hotel to catch the Monique Lhuillier bridal presentation. The show was more casual than its setting otherwise conveyed, and a timely appearance (and therefore, “wog”) was not, in fact, required. Lithe models circled the perimeter of the carpeted room, stopping for a few minutes each for photos (of which there were plenty, judging by the iPhones and politely nudging elbows). The models didn’t wear tiaras, as they did at the Theia show, or impressive flower crowns topped with cathedral veils, which were in abundance at Reem Acra. But they held themselves with the quiet grace of a dignified royal. The dresses followed suit, and were neither showy nor stuffy—the intricate and illusionary fabrics in slinky, at times daring silhouettes draped effortlessly off the body. A month out from the royal wedding, it’s no surprise that it has become a forceful underpinning to the Spring 2019 shows. But, just like there are many ways to construct a white dress, there are many visions of royalty. Monique Lhuillier tapped into something more specific—Meghan Markle herself. Just look at all the messy buns. There’s something charming about a bird that doesn’t call for attention, but commands it anyway.

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