The 1960s were a golden era for Beirut, Lebanon. It was a time of prosperity in the country, a time when Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. It was into this auspicious epoch that designer Elie Saab was born and, as his parents and their friends searched out the never-ending parties of Sahet Al Burj, Saab was there to observe it all. For Spring 2015 Couture, Saab paid homage to the region’s glamorous heyday, with captivating dresses so sheer that they might have floated away if not for the gravity of so much exquisite embroidery and tiny crystal embellishments.
Ethereal beauty and red-carpet finery are the double-helix strands of the Elie Saab DNA, and he served up both with confidence. The collection centered on diaphanous sheer gowns and frocks festooned with orchid-shaped embroidery, tiny sequin paillettes, branches of glittering thread, yards of ruffles, and puffball clouds of marabou feathers. Saab’s expert skills allowed necklines to melt into the skin, while sleeves cascaded around the elbow in undulating waterfalls of fabric. The palette incorporated pale, subtle shades of champagne, grass green, taupe, and rose pink, but the most jaw-dropping looks came in jet black. Saab’s masterful black gowns were marvelous to behold, illuminated from within as if by magic. Saab’s couture collection certainly casts a spell, one that transfixed us on a bygone era and made us appreciate the history of Beirut anew.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree