In the past few years, fashion designer Monique Lhuillier has become an icon. Known for her romantic bridal designs and sophisticated ready-to-wear and accessory collections, her skill and attention to detail is unparalleled. I must admit – I’ve always been such a fan! In fact, my own wedding dress was by Monique – one of the easiest decisions in planning my big day. Today, my wedding is a few years behind me, but I’m thoroughly enjoying life as a new mom. When I heard that Monique was designing a children’s collection for Pottery Barn Kids, it felt like worlds colliding in the best way possible.
The collection is filled with whimsy and imagination, and it’s clear that Monique Lhuillier + Pottery Barn Kids is a match made in design-lover’s heaven. I had the opportunity to interview Monique and learn more about the transition into interiors:
First of all, you designed my wedding dress and I’ve always wanted to thank you…so thank you! You’re known for designing gorgeous gowns. What inspired you to enter into children’s home furnishings?
I’m so thrilled to hear you wore one of my gowns for your wedding day – you looked beautiful! My life is about movement, living with passion and designing for the way I live. This collaboration with Pottery Barn Kids was a natural extension of my work as a fashion designer and being able to apply my creativity to home décor.
How did your experience as a mother influence the collection?
I was inspired by my own experience as a mother creating serene and magical nurseries and bedrooms for my children, Jack and Sophia. I loved the process of decorating both of their rooms and to design a children’s collection with Pottery Barn Kids was a wonderful experience.
As a mom, what was one of the most important considerations when designing your child’s nursery?
It’s important to me that a child’s room reflects their personality, inspires creativity and brings a sense of calm to the lives of the parents and children. I’ve always been inspired by the fantasy of special occasions and this collection is whimsical, ethereal and modern without compromising functionality. For me, I wanted to create a collection that marries the functionality needed for baby and kids’ spaces with contemporary and whimsical design elements.
How did the creative process of designing furniture and decor differ from designing fashion pieces?
When designing anything, from my RTW and accessories collections to bridal and tabletop, I use the same creative process. It’s about attention to detail, using the finest materials and creating pieces that have a timeless, whimsical feel to them.
Any surprising lessons you learned along the way with designing this collection?
I was pleasantly surprised on how seamless the entire process was and how my vision translated so easily into this collection. For example, I was able to repurpose prints from my gowns and make them into beautiful bedding and the hand stitched tutus and canopies were inspired by my bridal collection.
What piece are you most excited about with this collection and why?
There are several products that are so special. A few of my favorites include the Butterfly Chandelier designed to look like a draped necklace with the butterflies loosely flying around it and the Lamb Tuffet and Designer Dolls that give a hint of fantasy. Lastly, the tranquil color palettes of the rugs add the finishing touches for an ethereal and serene room.
You have an inspiring creative career. What top 3 pieces of advice would you offer young women setting out on theirs?
Stay true to your design aesthetic, it is important to have a point of view. Once you find your voice it is important to stick with it and deliver designs that entice the customer.
Every mother I know struggles with the work/life balance. What guiding principles do you follow when it comes to devoting time to both your career and your children?
Living in the moment is very important. It can be so easy to lose sight of this. I am grateful to have a career that I love and a wonderful family.