Bridal Designer to the Stars, Monique Lhuillier
In 1996, Filipina fashion designer Monique Lhuillier entered the bridal couturier industry and was hailed as the bridal gown designer to the stars.
Diane Monique Llamas Lhuillier was born to Filipino businessman, Michael J. Lhuillier and Filipina society figure and aformer model, Amparito Llamas. Lhuillier is of mixed French and Spanish-Filipino descent and is currently based in Los Angeles. In the Philippines, the Lhuilliers are known for operating a chain of pawnshops in more than a hundred cities.
At an early age of 15, she already hoped to become famous and successful in the fashion industry. For that reason, her parents sent her to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. It was here that she met her future husband, Tom Bugbee. Together, they founded Monique Lhuillier & Company and launched their very first bridal collection with the help of the $30,000 loan from Monique’s parents.
The Filipina fashion designer’s breakthrough came after she designed the gowns for her own wedding entourage. She admitted that she had a hard time finding her own gown and so, she sketched the 25 dresses for her relatives and other family members. The bridal party took place at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Ray, California and as the party was about to end, she was informed by the front desk staff that there were business cards waiting for her.
Since she launched her business, she earned an impressive roster of devoted clients, including Hollywood A-listers – Angelina Jolie, Tyra Banks, Jessica Simpson and a lot more, but it was in the year 2004 when her business soared the heights in which it is firmly in now. In this year, she dressed two important public figures for the Emmy Awards, The Sopranos star Jamie-Lynn Discala and Megan Mullally of Will & Grace. She also designed a gown for the pop icon, Britney Spears for her 2004 wedding to Kevin Federline.
Since then, she has designed gowns for other Hollywood stars such as Carrie Underwood, Kristen Stewart, Allison Munn, Heide Montag, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Emmy Rossum, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Christine Baumgartner. Her creations were even immortalized in movies and television when they were worn by Hilary Duff in the film, A Cinderella Story and more recently by Emily VanCamp in the ABC’s TV series, Revenge.
Lhuillier’s designs are noted for having that modern yet old romantic feel. Just recently, her business branched out to other lines, including ready-to-wear, linens, fine paper, home fragrances and evening wear, most of which are worn on red carpet events.
Bridal Designer to the Stars, Monique Lhuillier by Holly Bissonnette