Monique Lhuillier has a lot to be happy about, like a new collection and a hot-off-the-presses coffee-table book celebrating her 25 years in fashion. “It’s a new day, and after all those hardships a year ago, it’s nice to be landing on our feet and starting to soar again,” she said on a call.

Infusing this collection is a buoyant feeling of optimism, emphasized through color, cut, and volume. Lhuillier photographed it in Italy once it was possible to travel again—note the lemon/floral print. “It’s not about the glitz for me—it’s about the intricacies of the details; how we cut and folded the chiffon, the beads that I use. Everything is more on the matte side,” she explained.

Lhuillier’s instinct to pare back strikes the right tone at a moment when many want to gather and celebrate being out of lockdown, while at the same time new COVID variants are creating uncertainty about the future. There’s a gentle sense of freedom in a pastel midi dress with ruffles, and cheery polka dots feel like they’d be right at home in a 2021 version of Funny Face.