Who is the Gucci girl this season? "She’s eye candy!" Tom Ford laughed backstage. Of course she is. Glamour and provocation are at the core of the sex machine Ford has built at Gucci and, in a time when the pleasure principle is driving fashion, he knows how to push all the right buttons. He kicked things off with a little contradiction: silky track pants with a sporty ribbon running down the side and sloppy, semi-sheer tees, put together with exquisitely classy jackets and high gold sandals. Call it casual/couture, revved up with a flash of gotta-have-it trash in the all-important accessory department.

Over the last few seasons, as Ford has immersed himself in the culture of couture at Saint Laurent, his focus on cut and detail has become intense. That heightened awareness showed up in the delicious Gucci spring jacket—a feminine, body-hugging number with tiny, pleated fans forming a peplum in back—and in the minute waffles of tucks and pleats inserted into nude satins, which turned up in pants, jackets, and dresses.

But back to the eye-candy issue. For after dark, Ford produced a parade of red-carpet cuties, snuggled in feathery swan's-down boleros (in pristine white, egg-yolk yellow, or fuchsia) over curvily constructed knee-length chiffons. For the less sweet-toothed, he sent out the glitter snakes—serpentine crystal motifs wound around the torso or up the arms of black dresses. That's all strictly for high-flying candies, of course. For the rest of us, there are always the bags: madly excessive constructions involving purple, green, and bronze metallic snakes writhing decadently over signature GGs—more temptation than any girl can stand.