For Fall/Winter 2016, Elie Saab entitled his collection “Rhapsody”, but he may as well have thrown the word “Bohemian” in front of it, because his new aesthetic invoked the haute-est of hippie styles. Whereas Elie Saab has long been a brand that one could faithfully call on for gorgeous, elaborately embellished gowns, a shake-up has been occurring at the house since last season, and this fact was underscored by the inclusion of live musical act MØ at the show – you may know her as the Danish singer who has collaborated to great success with Iggy Azalea, Major Lazer, and DJ Snake in years past. As she writhed on stage to bone-rattling drum-and-bass riffs in a fringe-and-lace Saab get-up, hundreds of phones were raised and recording in appreciation.
While his more youthful, carefree aesthetic began in Spring/Summer 2016, carried by the inclusion of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid as show closers, it was really polka dots – and not celebrity models and singers – that stole the show this time around. Polka-dotted collection notes acted as an avant-goût, preparing us for what was to come down the runway, as did spotlights that dotted the ceiling of the cavernous event space. And for those who have relied for years on Saab’s talents for their red-carpet moments, there were still plenty of jaw-dropping looks for the next press junket.
Whereas Elie Saab has long been a brand that one could faithfully call on for gorgeous, elaborately embellished gowns, a shake-up has been occurring at the house since last season.
Naturally, polka dots led the show, popping up in très Parisienne shades of red, white, and blue along a long navy dress, which Saab topped with a gorgeous paillette-encrusted leather moto jacket. Noir gypset styles were subsequently established by a series of elaborately embroidered bespoke lace dresses – some short, some long, and all supremely beautiful. Then out came Jenner in a blurry watercolor-print maxi, which was paired with a fringed leather jacket — a splash of rock ‘n’ roll to toughen up the gauzy parade of rhapsodic dresses. Saab couldn’t make a bad look if he tried, and this was evidenced by minis thickly encrusted with glittering embroidery, plump mink coats, tiered chiffon frocks, witchy lace dresses, and more. Polka dots appeared again, but were transformed into 3-D textures when applied as pearl embroidery rather than flat prints.
For the young, or young at heart, there were plenty of sporty pieces to mix and match, like lace hoodies, embroidered shorts, and guipure crop tops. By the end, Saab had untethered his safety net and gone all out on two smashing looks. Both were gowns made from leather embroidery and were one part armor and one part eveningwear. Finished with lace-front necklines and tassels,, they were the kind of looks made to set fire to Instagram. With Jenner in the final look, Saab set flint to flame.