Pret-a-Reporter

Monique Lhuillier Spills on Teaming Up With Gwyneth Paltrow

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Gwyneth Paltrow

The polished duo's Goop collaboration is now available

Gwyneth Paltrow's résumé sparkles well beyond IMDb these days and she's undoubtedly cementing the route for the actress-gone-mogul track. Her venture Goop's latest coup is linking up with Monique Lhuillier on a 16-piece assortment that begs for holiday-party compliments. Priced from about $200 to $6,000, every item says "go fancy or go home" with voluminous taffeta skirts and the most superb lace-and-suede blush booties made for gracefully cutting a rug.

The collection hits Gwynnie's Highland Park Village pop-up shop Thursday and is available online here, but first, how about we gain some insight from her partner, the wedding and red-carpet empress Monique Lhuillier? It's not every day the occasion arises to check in with the woman who impeccably gussies up Tinseltown time and again.

Do you remember the first time Gwyneth wore one of your creations? 

The first time I dressed Gwyneth was for Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 (pictured above). She wore my spring 2011 scallop-edged corseted lace dress with cutout detail. It looked incredible on her and I was so honored she wore it for such a momentous occasion.

How did the conversation about putting your heads together begin between the two of you?

My team brought the Goop collaboration to the table and because it was my first-ever collaboration it was important for it to be organic and special. With Gwyneth's innate sense of style coupled with the fact that she has worn my designs, it made the decision to collaborate with the curated lifestyle site a natural fit. Gwyneth and I worked to create pieces that showcase both of our signature styles. We focused on designing items that are true to my brand aesthetic, along with including some exclusive items from my ML Monique Lhuillier label for the Goop customers.

What was the design process like?

The process has been extremely collaborative. Gwyneth has such a defined point of view and style aesthetic, making it so easy to design into this collection. We knew we wanted to give a sophisticated yet modern offering for holiday dressing. We both live in California and we injected an ease into the glamour of the holidays. Gwyneth tried on every piece to make sure it was something she believed in for the holiday collaboration.

How does the collection uniquely address both of your aesthetics and your personalities?

Our collaboration is the answer to easy, chic holiday and cocktail dressing. We are both working mothers who appreciate style and have very limited schedules. We both love an effortlessly elegant look, and this edited collection is all about our modern take on day to evening, focusing on easy separates and pops of color to make the perfect statement.

Any memorable moments while drumming it all up? 

I think the most memorable moment was having Gwyneth at our offices trying all the items on. She was incredibly hands-on. We decided on the color stories, and being in our offices she was able to see the factory and saw exactly the process of how the collection would be made. She looked amazing in all the pieces and we knew instantly the collection would be such a success.

Since Gwyneth is moving forward with her individual line, and you've worked with her, how do you rate her future success in the business?

She has impeccable style and is a true style icon. She has an innate sense of knowing what looks good on her. She believes in style being attainable and effortless, and I think most woman would gravitate to a collection like that.

What holiday parties will you be most looking forward to attending in these looks?

I will be attending several holiday parties in NYC and Los Angeles starting as early as next week. Our Goop collection is so versatile and works for both coasts as we offer long or short, bright or monochrome options. With a simple change of accessories, the looks can work for any type of holiday event!

Which five people from throughout history would you love to host for a holiday fete at your home?

I think a perfect holiday party is being surrounded by people you love and are inspired by. Inspired by philanthropy, my first two dream guests would be Oprah [Winfrey] and Bill Gates. I could only imagine the type of dinner conversation we could have with their combined life experiences. Oprah has dedicated her life through her own private charitable foundation to support the education and empowerment of women; her story is remarkable. Bill Gates, one of the most generous people in the world — not only is he incredibly innovative, his foundation's commitment to enhance health care, expand educational opportunities, and reduce extreme poverty is awe-inspiring. I recently saw Diana Ross perform at a party, and she was so breathtaking. I would love for her to sing holiday songs at my home. She is remarkably talented! My husband and I are avid collectors of contemporary art, so Jeff Koons, one of the most influential, popular, and controversial artists of the postwar era, would be an amazing guest. Finally, it wouldn't be a party without my loving husband.

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