Chanel channeled the Mediterranean for its set at Spring 2019 Couture week, but for Elie Saab there was no need to channel. The unspoiled beauty of the Mediterranean is in the Lebanese designer’s DNA. In Beirut, where his ateliers reside, the tantalizing beauty of the sea is never far from sight.
When Saab set his mark on the Mediterranean shores as the collection’s overriding reference point, he executed the theme with the ease of a bonafide local. A resplendent, dreamy show filled with confectionary colors, floral appliqués, glittering sequins, elegant draping, and effervescent fabrics exemplified the classic Saab look while simultaneously stoking desire. Who wouldn’t want to be one of those fabulous ladies by day in a floor-scraping aquamarine sequin robe strolling the city’s northernmost seaside avenue – conveniently called “Paris”? Or climbing steep, rocky stairs to a hidden rooftop venue in one of those splendid crimson gowns by night? Few among us would reject the fantasy offered by Saab’s Spring 2019 Couture presentation.
Saab’s modern day mermaids first shimmered to life in an array of jumpsuits and diagonally cut gowns that were paired with handsome blazers. Across each, clusters of paillettes splashed the surface, reflecting the hues of the ocean at dawn: dusky rose, peach, aquamarine, gold. His silhouette was expertly draped in order to flatter the figure.
The skill of his ateliers are capable of rivaling anything in Paris.
As the show progressed, draping moved from fluid lines to more architectural shapes, as stronger taffeta silks were able to hold intriguing geometrical structure. These pieces were short and shaped around the body, and paired with longer skirts for a high/low symmetry. Other gowns dripped with potent metallic sequins, adding a regal stiffness to their lines. Saab also introduced a variety of watercolor prints into the line-up, the first being the most magnificent of them all. For the finale, his mythical modern mermaid emerged from the sea, ready to wed in an ephemeral filigreed gown, proving the skill of his ateliers are capable of rivaling anything in Paris.