At a Monique Lhuillier show, there are gowns and then there are gowns. The latter are the ones that seem impossible to make—so great the number of beads, so vast the quantity of tulle—and are designed for occasions that come with camera crews. As usual, Lhuillier's show closed with a clutch of these stunners, but it was the cocktail looks that preceded them that gave the collection a splash of modern vitality. A splash because Lhuillier was water-inspired this season (sailing around the Mediterranean will do that to you), and her arresting digital prints had aquatic subjects like an abstracted crane, rounded fish scales, and an oversize koi. A pair of slim white pants in crepe georgette with a turquoise scale print looked even slimmer thanks to the curvy way the image wrapped down from the hips and in at the knee. And an ink-blue tank dress with a fluttering hem popped like an art piece, its mirrored wing imagery making strong graphics from top to bottom.

Lhuillier worked a peplum throughout, on strapless, belted tops and in wavelike curves that swooped out from the waist and met between the legs on sexy, sculpted leather dresses. The collection's lines were strong, but the quibble here is that we saw a lot of the same silhouette. A tighter edit would fix that next time and help eliminate the very real problem of glam fatigue. When a floor-skimming, sequin-shouldered, gold-dusted frock embroidered to look like it's covered in shimmering coral comes sweeping down the runway, you want to be ready to take it all in.