For Fall, Monique Lhuillier envisioned a tougher girl than Spring's counterpart. "Darker," the designer said in her showroom a few days before hers how. "More sultry." The palette was red and black—"It is the Year of the Dragon," she pointed out—and prints were inspired by lava and volcanic stones. One of Lhuillier's goals was to create an illusion of linearity, so she used waist-narrowing leather corset belts to deflate volume throughout. Overall the silhouette was lean and long—thanks, in part, to the teetering, patent-heeled Manolo Blahniks that played up the collection's bondage feel. Long sleeves were a constant, too, skinny enough that they required zippers for getting in and out. How's that for foreplay?
Back to the prints. The fiery pattern on the opening dress had been printed directly onto lace (much to the consternation of the Italian mill), stripping the fabric of all its dainty connotations. Sequins accounted for other embellishments. They formed the shimmering gold epaulets on an evening-appropriate jumpsuit with a sheer mesh back. The jumpsuits were part of Lhuillier's effort to expand her non-gown offerings, but fear not: There were lava-hot dresses, too. Leather and organza strips made up the skirt of one while metallic paillettes in the shape of licking flames glittered along the entire length of another. A gown with a red organza skirt that was anything but linear closed the show. Celebrity stylists, get on your marks.