There was a time when the words “Elie Saab” were synonymous with collections that were nothing but solid jewel tone floor length gowns, all chiffon and beadwork, and nothing else to say about it. Though he wrestled with prints a few times, the results were such tat he didn’t seem to risk it very often. Though this made him the go to for those looking for safe but stylish options for the red carpet, it didn’t really make his shows very interesting. After all, what can one say when confronted by forty dresses all of which are either one of three shades of primary colors?
But times thankfully change. and though there’s still a baseline of solid jewel tone evening wear floor length gowns to all Saab’s collections, he has learned how to use prints, and appliques other than beads. And now, he’s moving to New York City.
NEW YOWK CITY?!
Yes, New York City. Saab has a Madison Avenue store slated to open in 2017, and clearly the city’s distinctive art deco flavor of architecture has infiltrated his brain and his designs. This mean that even though we might have a gown that is nothing but a blue steel shade of silver, all chiffon and sequined beads, it also had more visual interest than that, having been designed to look like an homage to the city that doesn’t sleep.
Some of the designs were probably far too on the nose to be anything other than a touch embarrassing–such as the blue velvet with the chiffon filled cut outs that was so Empire State Building as to be costume. But then one must remember that cut out velvet and chiffon is also a step in a different direction for Saab, and consider that perhaps the hustle and bustle is aiding him in evolving into someone who can credibly create stunning gowns covered in three-dimensional floral appliques like he’s been an expert this whole time.
The full collection is below.