Before the tintype shoot, I had to see what I was getting myself into…I knew I wouldn’t be able to look at flat photographs of these amazingly intricate gowns and visualize the dreamlike story I was trying to build in my mind. Having photographed many past Monique Lhuillier ready-to-wear shows, they were wonderful enough to give me all access to their recent bridal collection show just a few weeks ago. Before this, I had never experienced “Bridal Week”. But as we all know, I do love a gown moment…and these gowns represent the most personal, intimate gown moment we might each have. It was honestly a little torturous – I kept wanting to get married all over again, in this dress, or that dress! But the satisfaction of getting to create images with these beautiful pieces was thrilling in itself.
So what are the differences between shooting NYFW and shooting a bridal show? Well, the girls do tend to smile more – they feel beautiful – and if you’re watching you’ll see a handful of them spinning around just like we used to do when we were children dreaming of walking down the aisle in something as magical as one of these dresses…
Read below to see what the designer Monique Lhuillier had to say about the collection ~
Who is the Monique Lhuillier bride?
“I think the Monique Lhuillier customer is confident, she loves fashion, she wants to feel special in her clothes, and she appreciates the beautiful fabrics and the craftsmanship that I put in my work, and she also wants to feel sexy on that day. Even if it’s a traditional event, I think she still wants that personality to shine through.”
What was the inspiration for your Monique Lhuillier Bridal Spring / Summer 2015 season?
“I started the collection by looking at art by John Singer Sargent, and I wanted to encompass that ethereal portrait, a beautiful and ethereal looking bride this season. I also wanted to introduce more color and more sheerness this season, so you’ll see I have mist, and pistachio, and also this hydrangea blue, which is unexpected, but I think is a nice breath of fresh air amongst the whites and the creams. Another thing that’s different is how I layered the whites and ivorys with nude underneath so then you see all the beautiful textures playing against each other. It’s so dreamy.”
The beauty was all about keeping it young, fresh, and sophisticated – mimicking their natural beauty. The key pieces were a coral lipstick in Crosswires “that is flattering for everyone,” said MAC makeup artists Romero Jennings & Gina Bettelli who created the beauty look for this season. The blush of choice was appropriately called “Something Special” which is a cream-blend blush to keep the skin naturally dewy and youthful. The finishing touch was a very chic natural signature brow. Using a super skinny brow pencil to mimic your natural fine hairs, you give small repeated strokes filling out the brow and adding shape, ending with a nice long, lean finish which adds elegance. For all the models here the makeup artists used MAC’s new Lingering Eyebrow Pencil.
The classical inspiration of John Singer Sargent that Monique was pulling from also carried over for hairstylist Nina Dimachki when creating this season’s look (WHICH I LOVED). I was so thrilled to actually learn from a hairstylist how to achieve the perfect ballet bun! The trick is making a very dry cloudy hair texture by using Kerastase’s beach texture spray and dry shampoo together to start in natural hair. A very light amount of even teasing with a brush around the roots of the head and then brush into a smooth ponytail, wrap it around and using bobby pins secure it into place. The dry texture you create for the hair gives a timeless, romantic, less is more balance to the intricacy of the dresses… the hair, according to Nina, should give a day dream effect.
“I really wanted the show to have this feeling like you’re in a dream and then the way the music stops in the end – it’s so abrupt, it’s like, Okay, now wake up to reality. So that’s the storytelling I was trying to do.”
The way you have them set up at the end of your show, it reminds me of an Irving Penn photograph, like those old beautiful society girls…how they’re situated in this gorgeous French room…
“Like a tableau! I love how they’re so regal yet all the silhouettes play off each other. I always feel like bridal and brides – they want that magical moment, this is their day. Each season I just try to make it feel more magical and effortless. That’s the key word. Everyone wants to feel pretty, but I want it to feel naturally pretty, I don’t want it to feel so forced.”