Light, sparkling, shimmering, crystalline – whichever adjective you want to use to describe the incandescent it factor that turns heads and makes people take notice of a gown – Elie Saab seems to be obsessed with it. For many years the Lebanesecréateur has used glassy beading, sequins and crystals (or most often a combination of all three) to imbibe his haute couture confections with a certain alluring glow. This season proved no different. Entitled Palais des Lumières (or “Palace of Lights”), the Fall 2014 Haute Couture collection from Elie Saab consisted of fifty dresses presented before a breathtaking backdrop of impressive chandeliers hung at various heights and lit to reflect the colors of Saab’s palette.
It would be safe to say that after years of showing at the Haute Couture, a designer would know which pieces are most successful in terms of eventual client orders and red carpet coverage, so perhaps it was strategic thinking like this which led Saab to design only evening gowns, avoiding daywear and separates altogether. Thus existed, within the range of fifty very formal looks, a remarkable variety of silhouettes and styles.
The short dresses – some paired with a matching colored fox stole, others with coordinating cropped overcoats or caplets – seemed especially attractive and refined, maybe because there was less of the heavily beaded fabric that sometimes seemed to weigh the models down. Also elegant were the long dresses that featured a less embellished overskirt with a slit, revealing a glimpse of leg or a slice of pearl-encrusted tulle beneath. These options, rendered in gorgeous shades of cool blues, coral and icy white, looked most fashionable. Our favorite gown – look 26, which Olivia chose to include among her top ten favorite bridal options from Couture in a recent feature for Vogue.com – featured a Saab rarity: print. We loved the romantic look of the abstract floral design, the textured fabric and the sunset-inspired color variation.