Monique Lhuillier – Fashionista

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Monique Lhuillier seems to be entering a blue period. After a body-hugging, athletic Spring show that found her working largely in cobalt and indigo, for pre-fall, she revisited the color, offering wasp-waisted cocktail fare and a few of her voluminous red-carpet confections in shades of royal. Here, they were joined by black, cream, and a hit of lavender, as well as some retro but still snappy tweeds. The message at Lhuillier has lately been as much about day as about night, and she created plenty of options that could err to the dressy side of office life. (Though wearing your tweed skirtsuit with only a lace bustier, as shown here, will earn you a trip to HR.) Craftily, the designer offered ways to bring day into night, like a long lace cardigan of sorts that, when worn over any of her simpler frocks, dials the glamour up considerably. And blue mood or not, it’s hard to imagine she’s not smiling at the prospect of her first New York store, opening on Madison Avenue this March.

[Matthew Schneier for]

Diane Monique Lhuillier (born 1971, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines) is a fashion designer most prominently known for bridal wear. The eponymously-named couture house, Monique Lhuillier, is based in Los Angeles, where she quickly became a celebrity favorite for designing luxuriously beautiful wedding and red carpet gowns. Her client list includes Gwyneth PaltrowReese WitherspoonKristen StewartDrew BarrymoreHilary SwankJennifer LopezTaylor SwiftCarrie UnderwoodKim Yoo-JinCatherine Zeta-JonesShannen Doherty and Lea Salonga.

Lhuillier was born to Michel J. Lhuillier, a Eurasian (French father, Filipino mother) businessman, and Amparito Llamas, a Filipino society figure and former model. She was a top student at her Lausanne, Switzerland boarding school, and loved fashion. She moved to Los Angeles to study design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), and met her husband Tom Bugbee.

Fall 2011 Evening

It was, while searching for a wedding gown in 1995, that Monique was disappointed by the selection of fashion-infused bridal options. An affinity for evening gowns and bridal wear had developed during her studies at FIDM, resulting in the launch of her first bridal collection in 1996. The collection received great acclaim from both editors and buyers alike. Tom joined the company as CEO, turning Monique’s vision to establish a couture design house into reality.

In 2003, Monique Lhuillier was invited to be a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

In 2006, Monique Lhuillier received the Medal of Honor from the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Monique and Tom currently reside in Los Angeles with their two children.



  1. Wow! I never realized how much Monique Lhuiller has accomplished in such a short amount of time! I also enjoyed her story about how she first started her clothing line by looking for a wedding gown (and I’ve seen her dresses so everything happens for a reason!) FIDM must know their stuff when it comes to fashion design because Monique Lhuillier is super successful. Thanks so much for sharing this article!

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