Elie Saab stepped forward to fill the void left in couture week that is normally occupied by Donatella Versace—blondes, bods and a throbbing beat. The 39-year-old Lebanese designer, who shot from obscurity to fame overnight when Halle Berry wore one of his gowns to receive her Best Actress Oscar, staged a full-on rock-goddess show of the sort that has all but disappeared from the fashion scene.

Saab’s Spring dresses are not for shrinking violets. With plunging fronts, bare backs and trailing skirts slit to reveal miles of tanned leg, these spangly chiffon confections are cut for hothouse girls who specialize in the art of under-dressing. Right down to the pounding rap music and the giant, simultaneous video projection that dominated the end of the runway, this show moved in the wake of Versace and Roberto Cavalli, but it didn’t break any new ground.