Pink-Haired Hilary Duff, Victoria's Secret Angels Take in Monique Lhuillier’s Dreamy Collection
Ashley Madekwe reminisces about her favorite Lhuillier creation: "I saw it on the rack. I was dead set against it, but the second I put it on — it was so different and so perfect."
Unsurprisingly, the front row was jam-packed with star power at go-to red-carpet designer Monique Lhuillier's fall 2016 show.
But even with all the best-dressed list babes in attendance — including Naya Rivera, Jennifer Morrison, Ashley Madekwe and a couple of Victoria's Secret Angels for good measure — it was Hilary Duff that had the crowd buzzing "Where's Hilary? Are they hiding her backstage? Have you seen her yet?" (The actress arrived just as the lights dimmed, causing photographers to scramble to catch the petite actress' new pastel pink 'do.)
It was rather ironic, however, that despite the fully-loaded front row, Lhuillier herself chose not to feature red-carpet gowns in this season's show as prominently as she has in the past.
"I didn’t want to show so many red carpet gowns because I do that and people know that I do that," she remarked to Pret-a-Reporter backstage. "So tonight I’m showing the breadth of everything else that I do — everything is still very special, but it’s not specific to red carpet."
Instead, an array of separates, coats, cocktail dresses, knits as well as the designer's ever-expanding accessories line — including a brand new collection of sunglasses which made their debut on the catwalk — took center stage.
"Don’t get me wrong — there are some [red-carpet gowns] in there," she added, referring to a couple strapless stunners, like the tiered pink chiffon gown with sapphire and gold floral appliques. "But it was good to show the entire Monique Lhuillier run."
GANG'S ALL HERE (MINUS HILARY DUFF): From left: Jennifer Morrison, Ashley Madekwe, Abbie Cornish, Naya Rivera, Jamie Chung, Devon Windsor, Rachel Hilbert and Cara Santana. (Photo: Getty Images)
The emphasis on accessories added to the eccentric vibe of the collection: A contrasting emerald green coat with floral embroidery was paired with pale pink textured trousers and topped with playful red frames. A punch-colored fur collar popped against patterned blue silk trousers that were styled with a Monique Lhuillier belt and one of her new daybags.
VIBES: Monique Lhuillier's fall 2016 presentation. (Photo: Getty Images)
Even with a lack of red-carpet ready pieces, Revenge's Ashley Madekwe, who most recently rocked an embellished cocktail dress by the designer at InStyle's Golden Globes party, was all about supporting her old friend. "I love her personally and professionally, so it’s always a joy to come to the show," she said.
On her favorite Monique Lhuillier piece of all time, however, the actress threw it back to 2015's Art of Elysium gala: "It was this black and white psychedelic print gown. When I saw it on the rack I was dead set against it, but the second I put it on — it was so different and so perfect, unlike anything I’d worn before."
MONIQUE MAVEN: Ashley Madekwe in Monique Lhuillier at the InStyle Golden Globes Party (left) and at the Art of Elysium 2015 Gala. (Photos: Getty Images)