"Welcome to the Garden of Eden," Monique Lhuillier
joked, gesturing around the hotel suite, strewn with flower-decked dresses, that served as base camp before her Spring show. "We have the angelic side, and the naughty side." Of course, naughty chez Lhuillier doesn't mean bondagewear or black leather; she makes lush frocks for very lush occasions. A serpent print among the blooms was the most devilish temptation—although it was by no means the most decadent. That honor would go to the drop-waist ball gown with, up top, a nude corset bodice (overlaid with net embellished with raffia paillettes) and, down below, a full skirt of poppy-red organza strips dusted with sequins. It was only one of the knockouts that sprung up under Lhuillier's green thumb. For black-tie nights, magnolias were hand-painted on organza and woven into jacquard; for day, a chic pair of high-waisted candy-apple red pants was paired with an organza blouse with origami fans rippling across the front. Still, evening will always be what Lhuillier does best. Pray, like Cinderella, for an invitation to the ball.