Monique Lhuillier Debuts Dazzling Dresses at New York Fashion Week

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Hollywood Stylist Code Red: L.A.'s hometown eveningwear expert designed covet-worthy gowns for the Oscars and beyond.

Monique Lhuillier is a Hollywood hometown favorite -- the designer is always worn by actresses to major red-carpet events. But her fall 2012 collection shown on Monday in New York was rather exceptional, even for Lhuillier: she added leather elements to her gowns, created prints in lace and combined fabrics that would normally clash. There was a tougher feeling than seasons past -- she usually goes girly-girl.

But not this time.

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Lhuillier's theme was "The Year of The Dragon," so her palette was practically fire-breathing: poppy red, black, gold and a black-and-red print that had a Far-East feel. Some gowns were so en fuego, they could ignite a red carpet into a bonfire. Shorthand: lots of Oscar options here that look new and fashion-forward.

The Vampire Diaries' Nina Dobrev and fellow actress Camilla Alves front row, admiring the colleciton. Dobrev, best-dressed at the 2011 Emmy Awards in a red Donna Karan gown, will likely took toward Lhuillier ball this time around.

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