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NEW YORK (AP) - Opulent Art Deco touches and intense tones of malachite green, oxblood red and amethyst were Monique Lhuillier's red carpet calling cards Saturday at New York Fashion Week.

With the Oscars around the corner (and the Grammy Awards on Sunday, for that matter) the drama on Lhuillier's runway was wrapped in beads on lace and punctuated by malachite, with illusion effects, plunging backs and strapless glamour.

Lhuillier has been lucky in Hollywood (Julianne Hough at the Golden Globes) and hopes these gowns will help continue her run.

"Well you know, every time I start a collection I always say, `What haven't I don't before, what's exciting, what's new, what do I want to accomplish this season?' So I wanted this girl to be super sexy. It's dramatic, mixed in with a little Art Deco, and just really intense color and intense structure."

While she didn't skimp on comfy, everyday looks for fall, sending out cable knit dresses in bone and shaggy fur coats, her gowns stole the show- though her roomy cocktail dresses with high-low hemlines and swingy sheer overlays were pleasers, too.

She used a digital feather print on crepe for a sheath dress and a crepe strapless gown. A burnished brocade was printed on a tweed, notched-collar coat paired with black pants. Another print was an abstract of butterflies.

For fall, Lhuillier said backstage before the show that she "wanted to be darker, more sensual, and a little stronger and more confident" on the runway this time around. She wouldn't talk Oscars.

"You'll have to wait and see but, um, anything is possible," she smiled.

Connie Britton, who appears in "Nashville," wore a fitted black Lhuillier on the front row and said her gowns are "pretty fantastic." Actress Bridget Moynahan was in a red Lhuillier and calls the designer "a good friend to have."

"You always feel good in her clothes. I was just saying for all these award ceremonies that have been going on and coming in the next couple of weeks, every woman fights for her dresses," she added.

___

Nicole Evatt in New York contributed to this report.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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