Born in Cebu City, Philippines in 1971 Monique Lhuillier is a fashion designer famed mainly for bridal wear. Her father was a French businessman and her mother was a model and Filipino social figure. Monique grew up in Philippines and upon finishing her school she moved to Switzerland. After completion of her college she went to Los Angeles to study fashion at Fashion Institute of Design & merchandising (FIDM). It was in Los Angeles that she met her husband Tom Bugbee. She still resides in Los Angeles and has two children. Monique L’hullier’s design captures the essence of sophistication by provoking femininity and glamour. She started taking special interest in bridal wear when while shopping for her own wedding gown in 1995 she was surprised by the lack of fashionable bridal collection even in a stylish city like Los Angeles. She cherished a fondness for bridal wears and evening gowns from her FIDM days and so immediately after her marriage she launched her first bridal collection in 1996. Currently, Monique L’hullier collection includes evening gowns, bridal wear, ready to wear, brides maids, linens, fine paper, tableware and home fragrances. However, Monique is world famous for her bridal wear designs and red carpet gowns. Her influence on fashion is exhibited by the refinement and unparalleled glamor she has brought into the bridal collection through her feminine silhouettes. She has a rich Hollywood clientele including Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, Kristen Stewart, Carrie Underwood, Nicki Minaj, and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Monique’s Guide to Paris 2013).
Monique Lhuillier Bridal wear, gown and fashion wear
Compared to many other fashion designers, Elie Saab had a very humble beginning. He was born in Beirut to a wood merchant. Growing in a Beirut, Lebanon suburb, he picked up sewing from his mother at a very early age. He used to self-train himself by making use of any material he could find in his mother’s closet to sew something fashionable. His family was taken aback when he made a beautiful gown for her sister using only the materials from her mother’s closet. In 1981, he went to Paris to study fashion but returned within a year. In 1982, Elie Saab started a shop in Beirut that specialized in designing bridal couture and wedding dresses and gowns. In the early 1990s he forayed into the line of designing ready-to-wear (The Fashion Model Directory – FMD). In 1997, he showcased his line of design wear outside Lebanon for the first time in Rome. The fashion show was so successful that he started ready-to-wear in Milan and Monaco the very next year. In 1999, Queen Rania of Jordan invited Elie Saab for designing her coronation wear. The dress got enormous publicity with Elie Saab becoming an overnight darling designer for the royalty. He later designed dresses for many royal figures like Princess of Beatrice of York, Princess of Venice and Piedmont, Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, Grand Duchess of Luxemburg and Princess Madeleine of Sweden. However, the big break for Elie Saab came in the year 2002 when Halle Berry wore a burgundy gown designed by him in the Oscar ceremony and won the Oscar that year (Vogue). After that he also became famous celebrity gown designer. He designed gowns for many world famous celebrities like Halle Berry, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé and Aishwarya Rai to name a few. Elie Saab is fond of noble materials like organza, taffeta, satin and sable combined with light and fluid fabrics such as chiffon and lace to give an aerial effect. His use of intricate embroideries woven with semiprecious stones, sequins and Swarovski crystal highlights the finesse in his designs.
Elie Saab’s Queen Rania’s coronation dress, Hale Berry 2002 and 2003 Oscar wears, bridal and gown.
Roland Mouret is one of the famous modern day fashion designers specializing in women fashion wear and celebrity fashion lines. He was born in Lourdes, France in 1961 and learned fashion in a Parisian college in 1979. He started his career as the creative director for a gay magazine called 'Gai Pied Hebdo'. Around the same time he also embarked on designing clothes. He created a clothing line called 'irresistible' which was bought by a Scottish business woman Sharai and her husband Andre Meyers in 1998. However, he could not get a good footing in the French fashion world and finally moved to New York. In 2006, Mouret’s 'Galaxy' range of design came out in the Spring Summer collection. It became so well accepted from the time of its launch that many celebrities started wearing 'Galaxy' designs. However, within two months Roland Mouret announced of his separation from his own brand due to difference in opinions with the sponsors of his brand (Jones 2010). Mouret went to a hiatus for one year and in 2007 came back with a new brand called 'RM by the designer Roland Mouret'. His 2007 fashion show in Paris was a huge success and his dresses were sold within hours after the show. In order to launch his new brand successfully, he partnered with Bergdorf Goodman for one time consignment. Mouret then designed a limited edition line for GAP which was a huge success. Among all his collections, his legendary 'Moon' dress made famous by Victoria Beckham brings out his offbeat style. Roland Mouret is famous for exclusive designs. His collections over the years like Galaxy, Moon, Capsule and Easy-Chic sets him apart from contemporary designers (Marie Claire).
Victoria Beckham in Moon Dress, Cameron Diaz in Galaxy, Easy-chic, Capsule and Geomertic Designs by Roland Mouret
Gilles Mendel has fashion in his family. He started his fashion training under his father Jacques at J.Mendel Fur Salon in Paris. Within few years he opened his own J.Mendel boutique at Elizabeth Arden’s fifth avenue salon in New York. Soon he became famous for his fur collection in the New York fashion world (Informat Fashion). In 1985 he moved his company to Madison Avenue. J.Mendel was an established brand when Gilles took over it. However, the challenge for Gilles was to take it to a new level. Gilles was always passionate about modern trendy designs. He designed some very sophisticated fur dresses during 1980s but he was not satisfied with the progress he was making. In the early 1990s he began experimenting with women ready-to-wear dresses. The addition of women-ready to wear design, however, happened accidentally. During mid-1990s because of the PETA protests against fur clothes, Gilles started showcasing his women-ready-to-wear designs in the Madison Square showroom at night. People liked the dresses so much that Gilles finally added women-ready-to-wear also in J.Mendel portfolio. In 2002, Gilles Mendel first showcased his full scale collection of women-ready-to-wear clothing line. It helped J.Mendel brand grow enormously. Luxury designs of Gilles Mendel were liked and appreciated by many. Since then every year Gilles showcases his line of spring and fall collections in New York Fashion week.
Fur collection and ready-to-wear luxury women collection by J.Mendel
Herve Leger is a fashion brand founded by the designer Herve Peugnet. The fashion house is known as Herve Leger in France and as Herve L. Leroux in other places. Peugnet was a fashion designer passionate about creating things totally unique. His creativity is apparent in the designs of his first line of dresses called bandage-dresses for Herve Leger. He was inspired by the way bandages would twine and shape around the wearer’s figure. His bandage collection included bandage strips and body hugging dresses. These lines of dresses are also known as body-conscious dresses. Bandage-dresses are the unique collections of Herve Leger. Herve Leger was purchased by BCBG Max Azria Group in 1998. This was the first French fashion line acquired by an American group. In 2007, Max Azria relaunched the Herve Leger brand in selective few department stores and boutiques. In 2007 a remodeled Herve Leger boutique was opened in Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. In 2008, Herve Leger made the first appearance in New York fashion week as Herve Leger by Max Azria. Herve Leger continues to showcase its bandage collection and recently has expanded its bandage designs to swimwear and pants.
Kim in Herve Leger collection, bandage dress wear and swim wear and Leger bold move collection
Monique’s Guide to Paris. Monique L'huilier. 20 Aug 2013. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://moniquelhuillier.tumblr.com/>
Elie Saab. The Fashion Model Directory - FMD. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://www.fashionmodeldirectory.com/designers/elie-saab/>
Elie Saab. Biography. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://www.fccihk.com/files/dpt_image/4_events/gala/2012/invitation/French_Chamber_Gala_Dinner_2012_Elie_Saab.pdf>
Elie Saab. Vogue. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://www.vogue.com.au/people/designers/elie+saab,347>
Gilles Mendel Biography. Informat Fashion. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://www.infomat.com/whoswho/gillesmendel.html>
J. Mendel. New York Media. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/designers/j-mendel/>
Jones, Dolly. Roland Mouret Returns. Vogue. 9 Sept 2010. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2010/09/09/roland-mouret-buys-back-his-name-and-prepares-a-standalone-boutique>
Roland Mouret's Sell-out Dress. Marie Claire. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/fashion/164908/roland-mouret-s-sell-out-dress.html>
Kretzer, Michelle. Wendy Williams Sheds Fur—and Everything Else—for PETA. PETA. 29 Nov 2012. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/tags/NYC/default.aspx>
Herve Leger by Max Azria. Web. 26 Aug 2013 <http://experience.herveleger.com/heritage/?utm_source=HERVELEGER&utm_medium=TOPNAV&utm_content=HERITAGE&utm_campaign=EXPERIENCE>