There was not a trouser to be seen at Monique Lhuillier's impressive show. Dress after dress marched out at such a rapid-fire pace it was hard to clock the detailing on one before another took its place. Working an Asian-warrior theme, Lhuillier's red-carpet soldiers were dressed to kill.

Short, embellished looks came out first. Dragon-printed, lacquered matelassé worked on a long-sleeved, high-necked mini with gold-garnished cuffs. The same print on a cheongsam-ish trench looked too "dragon lady"—but, for the most part, Lhuillier avoided any triteness in a theme that could easily have been interpreted as a cliché. Mostly this was due to the freshness of her leggy silhouettes. Yes, these were all very-special-occasion dresses, but the best were lightened up by their glam embellishments, not dragged down. A halter in blood red dripped with gold leather chain embroidery; the model looked like she was in a very beautiful, flower-festooned cage. A few shredded-wool coats could have been skipped. (They potentially could have made a nice contrast with all the glossy dresses, but instead they just looked hairy.) Once the long dresses appeared, it was hard not to think Oscar—as in Hollywood, not de la Renta. A silk jersey column in deep plum would look perfect on Julianne Moore, while the strapless burgundy gown with a sweetheart neckline—made from hundreds of hand-stitched swaths of organza—would go very well with a gold statuette.