Talks Fashion and Travel

Where Miami - - FRONT PAGE - —Jennifer McKee

is in­spired by her sur­round­ings wher­ever she goes, which adds ex­tra charm and depth to her dra­matic de­signs. We sat down with Lhuillier at the de­but of her fall 2014 col­lec­tion; read on to dis­cover what pieces she con­sid­ers key for the sea­son, her tips on pack­ing light and what she does to quickly feel at home in a new des­ti­na­tion.

Where do you find the in­spi­ra­tion for your de­signs? I draw in­spi­ra­tion from a lot of dif­fer­ent places. My fa­vorite thing to do is travel, and when I go on dif­fer­ent trips, I just get so in­spired, whether it’s a beau­ti­ful art piece I’m look­ing at, peo­ple-watch­ing on the street or a beau­ti­ful fab­ric that I see. The ideas just start, and it hap­pens. So it’s usu­ally from trav­el­ing, but also just liv­ing. I’m drawn to beau­ti­ful things. What was the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the fall 2014 col­lec­tion? It was the mys­te­ri­ous side of Monique. The sea­son is very dra­matic, it has a lot of darker shades—mid­night, black and metallics. It’s also sleeker. I tried to keep the col­lec­tion dark and mys­te­ri­ous, but I also added some pops of color in the fuch­sia and the lush pink. In fall I like to have the col­lec­tion be a lit­tle more dra­matic than ro­man­tic. I feel that women need that darker side. What pieces or trends do you think are key for fall? A great lace shoe bootie is a must in the wardrobe. A cock­tail dress with a great fit and a bit of shim­mer is key for the wardrobe. The fi­nal com­po­nent of my col­lec­tion is the state­ment gowns— I love see­ing women put that ef­fort in and trans­form for that one evening and make it mem­o­rable, let­ting the fan­tasy back in. What is the most im­por­tant piece or pieces to your own per­sonal style? A great-fit­ting cock­tail dress is a sig­na­ture of mine. I feel like it’s so ver­sa­tile, it takes you to so many dif­fer­ent places. What are your best travel tips? To over-pack is just a drag. I al­ways say plan your wardrobe two days be­fore you leave and style it out with the shoes, the belts, etc., so that way you’re very well- edited and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. If you’re or­ga­nized, it makes trav­el­ing a breeze. What is the first thing you do when you ar­rive at your new des­ti­na­tion? I like to un­pack and get ev­ery­thing hung, and then I take a walk and see my sur­round­ings—the neigh­bor­hood, check out what sort of things there are to do in the ho­tel. I like to dis­cover im­me­di­ately. How do you make a ho­tel room feel more like home? I bring my mu­sic with me, that makes me feel at home. I also bring a fra­grance with me, whether it be a can­dle or an air spray, so it smells like me and my en­vi­ron­ment. If it’s a long stay, I order fresh flow­ers in my room, be­cause it au­to­mat­i­cally makes it feel more cozy. What are you lis­ten­ing to right now? I lis­ten to a lot of Phar­rell, I also lis­ten to Cold­play. I like to dance, so I have a lot of dance mixes— I love David Guetta, also Justin Tim­ber­lake. What’s your fa­vorite va­ca­tion spot? I love Venice and eat­ing the de­li­cious food—it’s so beau­ti­ful. I also love Capri and stay­ing at the J.K.Place Ho­tel; it feels like your own pri­vate beach house. We also love Aspen, Colo., which is only a two-hour flight from Los An­ge­les—we’re a very big out­doors fam­ily, so we ski a lot in the win­ter; in the summer we like to bike and hike. I also love Paris. What’s one thing you can’t be with­out when you travel? My iPhone, be­cause I can take pic­tures with it, I’m al­ways con­nected—if some­body needs me, I’m very ac­ces­si­ble. I have my mu­sic, my pic­tures and it just keeps me on track.

The fall col­lec­tion from Monique Lhuillier is more mys­te­ri­ous than ro­man­tic and fea­tures dra­matic pair­ings of black with pops of fuch­sia and pink.

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