Elie Saab’s Couture show featured matching mother and daughter embellished gowns
Elie Saab is the Beirut based designer who stormed the red carpet and Paris haute couture week with a single minded persistence that eventually wore down the pure minded souls who run French couture shows. (They would rather those who show at Paris couture week had their workrooms in Paris. It’s a 'Champagne only comes from the Champagne region' sort of argument).
Be that as it may, Saab is now a fixture on the schedule and probably boasts more Middle Eastern Princesses on his front row than all the other couturiers put together.
Not only princesses. I went to an Elie Saab shop opening once – a palatial edifice on the Avenue Franklin de Roosevelt in Paris - where I met Middle Eastern doctors and physicists who were loyal fans. The glamour bar is set high on planet Elie. Even so, it’s disconcerting to see under-tens modelling couture dresses.
Saab is surely not the only name to offer couture outfits that costs tens of thousands of Euros to children. I’m told some designers receive orders for bespoke coats for dogs. If you dress chihuahuas, it probably seems churlish not to open your workrooms to small humans. However, most of them do it behind closed doors. Saab had seven Mini Mes on the catwalk – all adorable little girls for sure. But - and this may be a generational reflex – I’m not convinced this is a step in the right direction.
At least they weren’t wearing make-up or halternecks or any of the queasy-making products that various high street brands have offered to the primary school set over the years. If you can get past the extreme, vertigo-inducing prices, the tulle, embroidered and bird-print dresses were quite sweet: Alice in Wonderland meets Sugar Daddy.
The adult versions were more Veronica Lake: strong shouldered column dresses with necklines that plummeted more steeply than Sterling, thigh flashing slashed hems or classic sweetheart decolletages.
Beading is an Elie Saab speciality: here the form of gold starbursts, silver swallows or blue Statue of Liberty crenellations. This was Hommage: New York. Art Deco geometry traced across tulle or velvet, Chrysler building inspired peplums accentuated waists and hips. Flapper-girl feathers and gold embroidered leaves that looked as though they’d been painted onto black or flesh coloured organza and wrapped around the body to create a classic hourglass silhouette with elongated legs. It could have been an unholy mess, but by and large, it was glorious.
If glamour is your goal, these dresses were sensational. 1940s silhouettes combined with light, modern techniques and a Rhapsody in Blue soundtrack are quite hard to beat on a Tuesday morning. Add waved, side-parted hair, scarlet lips – and forgive him the children.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses