Elie Saab played his queen card for fall, looking to the cinematic monarchs of Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth,” Sophie Marceau in “Braveheart” and Marion Cotillard in “Macbeth” for royal inspiration.
Medieval elements coursed through the collection in ropes and braiding, square necklines with puff sleeves, and bodices so heavily embellished with gold thread they read as very glamorous armor. Gothic architecture appeared in structured gowns, and caped shoulders and hoods added an element of mysterious drama to beaded gowns.
Saab balanced the strategically sheer trend with rich velvets and heavy satin and draped across the body in structural formation or large bows. The gothic touches kept the collection from moving into too saccharine territory, and it was refreshing to see his masterful technique on more structural, less gauzy pieces.
Jewel tones were another aristocratic nod, in royal purple, emerald and ruby. These should fit well with the red carpet trend of bold colors with structural shapes.
To be sure there were still plenty of the florals and pastels that Saab loves. His final bride was a pale pink in lieu of the traditional white.
The looks translated for men, too, in tuxedos and capes. The men’s couture business has been a success since launching it three seasons ago, said Elie Saab Group chief executive officer Elie Saab Jr. Demand has been strong, especially in the Middle East, for the new men’s pieces.
The designer is also expanding his involvement in branded real estate projects in the region as Saab Jr. moves the label into lifestyle territory. They plan to reveal new developments by the end of the year.
The brand opened its new flagship in Monte Carlo last week, bringing the total to 12 directly operated Saab stores. It will celebrate with a splashy opening event in the principality next week for a real-life royal touch.