The Scene: Elie Saab Fall 2014 Haute Couture at Pavillon Cambon Capucines.
The Inspiration: Saab’s show notes discussed “the grandeur of a Parisian palace,” but backstage, mentions were made of a sea inspiration; we’ve seen several references this week to all that can rise from shimmering waters, especially in the haute joaillerie collections. Saab mined the idea in a color palette of beautiful blues as well as corals and white (the foam on a wave, of course), while embellishments included lush pearl beading and crystals that evoked the idea of sunshine on the ocean.
The Look: There’s a reason Saab is popular on the red carpet and with his posh set of clients — he never strays far from the notion of framing women in something that makes them feel utterly beautiful. It’s not fashion that will change the world, but it’s glamorous, undeniably luxurious and unapologetically pretty. Saab favors flattering A-line shapes, both short and long, and he kicked off that idea with a range of blues, from pale to deep peacock, all lavishly beaded; a cocktail dress with a deep-V plunge and peplum, embellished all over with pearl beading, felt young and fresh for the Hollywood starlets who turned up (likewise for a coral silk-faille ball gown with a beautiful open back). The covered-up-meets-sexy elegance of several dresses — a healthy offering of long sleeves, shown on gowns crafted of strategically-beaded tulle or chiffon for a hint of skin — should easily find favor with Saab’s socialites. As for the handwork, the beauty of a portrait-neck gown in all-over blue ombre beading? Perfection.
The Beauty: MAC’s Tom Pecheux crafted a gorgeous palette of a smoky blue-green eye mixed with a coral lip, while Orlando Pita designed loose, knotty chignons to show off the beautiful backs Saab conceived for several of these gowns.
The Front Row: Nina Dobrev wore a gown from the designer’s Fall 2014 ready-to-wear collection to the Bulgari party on Tuesday evening, making her the most expected guest in his front row today, while across the runway sat Olivia Palermo.
The Takeaway: These are silhouettes we’ve seen in Saab’s wheelhouse, but he chooses to imbue them anew with inspiration and handwork each season — it’s a formula that works incredibly well for him. After the hype of other shows, no doubt couture clients will still be hearing the siren call of these luxe, sea-inspired pieces.