Strapless and sporty? No problem.
Monique Lhuillier incorporated the athletic trend that has surfaced at New York Fashion Week into her newest collection, which debuted Saturday night. Never mind that she's mostly known as a source of red-carpet gowns.
There are worthwhile design elements to borrow from activewear, she said, including sporty necklines and aerodynamic striping and slashing. Her runway had a cobalt-blue racing stripe right down the middle.
She also tapped into the popular optimistic color palette that editors, stylists and retailers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week are getting used to seeing for next season.
"I used a lot of vibrant yellows, as you can see. A lot of blues," she said.
The sunshine yellow strapless draped trumpet gown is for the woman who wants to turn heads. Another yellow eveningwear look was an off-the-shoulder draped gown, and there also was a yellow trench with black lace panels. Who needs red to stop traffic?
"I feel like women today take such good care of themselves physically — you know they work out, they're more into fitness than ever — so when I was coming up with concepts and ideas months ago and what spring is going to be like, I was like, 'Why don't I so that?'"
Lhuillier explained that she used intricate seaming — sometimes accented with sequins or leather — to further flatter the physique.
The colorblock paneling, either down the front of a cocktail dress or along the sides, creates the illusion of a slimmer silhouette. Lhuillier's skilled use of sharp lines around the neck fueled a sexiness to the dresses without showing too much skin.
A magenta lace corset underneath a black-lace cardigan worn with black wool pants with lace racing stripes down the edge showed that a classic outfit doesn't have to be a boring one.
Mandy Moore, sitting in the front row, said she was lucky to have her "Monique moment" earlier this year when the designer created two gowns for her to wear at the Oscars. She said of the designer, "I am such a huge, forever fan of hers."
Associated Press Writer Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.
AP Fashion Writer Samantha Critchell tweets from the AP Fashion Twitter account: http://twitter.com/AP_Fashion