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Filipino designer creates gown for ‘Fifty Shades’ lead actress

Filipino designer creates gown for ‘Fifty Shades’ lead actress

Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, made a grand entrance wearing a Monique Lhuiller gown in the "Fifty Shades Darker" masquerade ball scene. Universal Picture/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Internationally-recognized Filipino fashion designer, Monique Lhuiller, once again made it to Hollywood her designed gown was worn by one of the lead characters of “Fifty Shades Darker.”


In one of the notable scenes in the second chapter of the film based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” trilogy novel, Dakota Johnson, who plays Anastasia Steele, dons a custom-made gown and capelet by Lhuillier.


The liquid satin sheath gown with a draped neckline and a crisscross back in a silver hue exuded femininity and sophistication, while the handmade ostrich feather capelet added exquisite glamour for Anastasia’s grand entrance in the film’s exclusive masquerade ball.


Lhuillier, known for her bridal couture, ready-to-wear line, and accessories, was even mentioned by Mia Grey, portrayed by Rita Ora, in the film.


In keeping with the essence of her brand, Lhuillier's design evoked an enchanting, yet sophisticated, vision by weaving together sensuous and modern elements for the character of Anastasia.


“I am so delighted to partner with Universal Pictures’ 'Fifty Shades Darker' to design for the character of Anastasia Steele,” Lhuillier said.


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“Like the Monique Lhuillier woman, Ana radiates confidence and femininity, and so the gown I imagined for this iconic scene encapsulates that modern sophistication,” she added.


The film’s costume designer, Shay Cunliff, said she always imagined Johnson in Lhuillier’s stunning gown as a “beautiful siren of simplicity.”


“We sent Monique ideas and images that evoke old Hollywood, and she and her team took the inspiration from there—crafting this stunning confection. Ana’s cape itself was a challenge—each feather was sewn by hand—but I felt it would magnify Ana’s show-stopping entrance at the ball, harking back to the 1930's screen sirens. Monique also beautifully resolved our need to create a gown which can effortlessly slip to the ground…another feat of engineering,” Cunliff said.


For “Fifty Shades Darker,” Jamie Dornan and Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.


The sequel, distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures, opened in Philippine cinemas on Wednesday. On its first day, it already surpassed the original "Fifty Shades of Grey’s" P15 million first-day gross with an P18-million first-day take.


The Movie & Television Rating and Classification Board gave the flick an R-18 rating, which means the movie is strictly for 18 years of age and above. It was also approved in its original US version – without cuts, blurs, and blacked-out parts.


"Fifty Shades" fans may anticipate the last part of the trilogy, “Fifty Shades Freed,” on Valentine’s Day of 2018. —Rosette Adel


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