The inspiration for the ELIE SAAB Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 2015/2016 collection comes from history – a personal history, the heritage of the House of ELIE SAAB and its founding designs of the nineties. His work of that era, of delicately embroidered gowns in signatures shades of rich gold, continues to symbolise the excellence of ELIE SAAB, its DNA, and its foundation in the savoir-faire of Haute Couture. That is the starting point for a collection devoted to grandeur, opulence, and the beauty of women, a homage to the essence of ELIE SAAB.
Gold is the leitmotif colour of the collection, inspired by those original gowns that established the Elie Saab name on the global fashion stage, reinterpreted this season to evoke the glistening, golden palaces of Byzantium. The catwalk itself, flanked with gilded panes, represents a contemporary Byzantine palace, while golden thread runs throughout the collection. It is picked up in embroideries, in shades of white and rose gold, antique gold mixed with delicate verdigris green, and also rich burgundy and green, opalescent pink and peridot. A jewel-box of colours, like the multihued fragments of a Byzantine micro mosaic.
Golden laurels are woven into the hair and decorate wrists and ears as filigree fine bijoux. Fusing jewellery with dress, delicate golden chains clasp waists and span shoulders, suspending fluid silks and chiffons.
Handworked, no two embroideries are alike, a dazzling cavalcade of technique. New geometries are discovered, in the forms of vines and foliage as well as the graphicism of Byzance motifs. Delicate lace appliqués and beadwork give surfaces a three dimensional effect. Search inside each embroidery, and you will find a flower, the enduring emblem of the House of ELIE SAAB.
The lines of the gowns are varied, full and slender sitting side-by-side, a diverse wardrobe of options. Empire lines and ballerina lengths offer fluidity, emphasised by the lightness and delicacy of crepe de chine, chiffon and silk tulle. Lace is intricately worked to give a lingerie effect, a hint of seduction, but cut with graphic precision possible only in Haute Couture. Sumptuous velvet and mink highlight the collection’s varied colours in accessories. Shoes are flat, bodies moving graciously.
The finale bursts into brilliant gold – the wedding gown. This time it appears not only as the traditional finale to the House’s show, but as its very soul. In 1990, Claudine Saab walked down the aisle in a golden ELIE SAAB wedding gown, exquisitely embroidered. July 4th marked the 25th anniversary of the marriage of Mr and Mrs Saab, a moment that continues to inspire the heart of Elie Saab.