Glittering dresses, golden coronets, gilded bags — Elie Saab went for gold in a big way for his winter haute couture collection.
In fact, the only thing larger than the spun-gold metallic surfaces were dresses whose vast flower-patterned skirts spread like giant petals.
I can see the allure of Elie Saab’s work to a woman looking for a special-occasion outfit. There was no pretense this time around that the designer I think of as the ‘Fashion King of Byzantium’ would attempt to create couture for all seasons and all reasons.
In fact, he gave daywear a miss, no doubt leaving it for his ready-to-wear collection, whilst making his couture an orgy of opulence, albeit tempered by some more sober dresses in deep claret.
Richness was on a delicate scale with all the sequined handwork. And there was a feeling of sweet youth from the girls with tiny waists and long hair — each crowned with a headpiece that resembled more a Grecian laurel wreath than a royal tiara. Low-heeled sandals added to that elixir-of-youth feeling.
In his programme notes, the designer claimed that the inspiration was his early collections, from back in the 1990s.
Making the show truly personal, the wedding dress, with its golden embellishments, was inspired by Elie’s marriage 25 years ago to his wife Claudine. It was a charming gesture — and proof that sumptuous classics (and romance) never go out of fashion.