Since launching her brand in 1996, Monique Lhuillier's name has become synonymous with beautiful and intricate wedding gowns. She made headlines last fall when the First Lady donned one of her designs when the Pope came to visit. And recent bride Jamie Chung also tapped the Los Angeles-based designer for her October nuptials. (We got an exclusive look at her big day.) Here, Lhuillier dishes on her must-pack airplane snacks, her favorite city for shopping, and more.
Aisle or window?
Aisle. I like to have the extra legroom.
Check or carry-on?
It depends. If it's a short weekend trip, I bring a carry on, but for longer vacations I check a bag.
What electronics or gadgets do you always pack and why?
My iPhone and iPad. They keep me connected, and I would be lost without them!
What are your tips for fitting souvenirs in your suitcase?
I like to buy snow globes as souvenirs for my children. They're small enough that they can squeeze into your suitcase or carry-on.
Any tips for packing clothes?
I try to plan my outfits for each day to avoid over packing.
One article of clothing you never leave at home?
A comfortable pair of shoes.
How do you prepare for a long flight?
I pack my favorite snacks: Skinny Popcorn, dried mango, and dark-chocolate covered almonds. I also make sure I have movies to watch and magazines to read.
What is your go-to airport outfit?
Jeans, Céline boots, J. Crew collared shirt, a comfy Céline sweater, and my Givenchy bag.
What are your tips for planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip?
It's all about the location. Once you have your destination, you have to make sure to allow yourself enough time to not only see the sites, but also to get to know the people and culture.
What camera do you recommend?
I recently purchased a Canon DSLR for my husband and really love the picture quality.
What are your favorite travel apps?
I use Conde Nast Traveler's app and Uber to get around whenever I'm in a new city.
How do you fight jet lag?
When I land, no matter how tired I am, I make sure that I don't go to bed until a normal hour and it allows me to adjust quickly.
Best ways for killing time during a layover?
I like to catch up on movies since I don't usually have time to see them.
Favorite souvenir from your travels:
The best souvenirs are the photographs we take.
Favorite city to visit for shopping?
Paris is my favorite place to shop. French style is effortlessly chic and I like just taking in the Parisian street style. Céline and Alaïa are some of the houses I prefer.
What is the most romantic destination you've visited?
Venice. I'm still in awe of everything from the art and architecture to the twinkling lights from the cafés and the lights reflecting off of the canals at night.
Most romantic hotel?
The Gritti Palace in Venice.
Most romantic meal?
Ristorante da Ivo. It only seats about a dozen people and there is an instant intimacy and coziness.
Where are you going next?
Over the holidays my family and I will be traveling to Japan for the first time.