Elie Saab Spring Summer 2013 Collection

Wednesday Ocotber 3, 2012 – Espace Ephemere des Tuileries

Rounding out Paris fashion week was a delightfully blissful and optimistic collection at Elie Saab. Known for his red carpet dresses that have graced Hollywood darlings for well over many years, Saab’s work usually conjures up images of elegantly elongated dresses with billowy trains and simple, but sophisticated silhouettes. But Elie strayed from his mainstay with his Spring collection and the results were more than rewarding.

Playing with monochromatic tones in azures, pastel turquoises, brushed peach, soft crimsons, and of course whites and blacks, Elie played with the notion of taking his glamorous dresses and making them into ‘everyday-wear’. Shirt-trouser combos, butterfly lapel jackets, pleated silk blouses, and knee-high skirts with Bishop-sleeved shirts looked ideal for the working woman. The play with graphic prints was a striking departure from the rest of the looks, but tied in nicely with the plays on structure and form. A black union jack overlaid on a kaleidoscope print shift dress was the first taste at this new narrative followed by arm-baring maxi and A-line dresses with darkened stripes running vertically down the silhouette.

And almost on cue, this visual play with geometric prints transitioned into bandages that criss-crossed earlier looks, this time redone in basic whites and blacks. Beading and peep-through embroideries on neutrals reminded us of Elie’s talent at subtle sublimity. Covetable bags were the unsung heroes of the collection, appearing in leather and exotic snakeskin varieties, following the overall motif of tone-matching the clothing to complete the look.

Nowadays, it’s rare to find fashion houses that are able to be recognized for having a particular ‘look’ that is uniquely their own. Sometimes it’s a good thing since it gives the brand an identity, although when repeated too often, can easily stray into the mundane and expected. It can be a double-edged sword too, with buyers and critics panning collections that don’t correspond to expectations. Thankfully, Elie’s Spring experiment is in full equilibrium, with equal parts elegance and modernity. This designer recognizes his legacy but his forward-thinking collections aren’t defined by it; they redefine it masterfully every season.

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Photos courtesy of Stylerumor.com

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