Elie Saab Gets Bitten by the Love Bug for Fall/Winter 2019

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A new wave soundtrack backed Elie Saab’s Fall/Winter 2019 presentation at Paris Fashion Week, with English synth-pop band The Human League questioning, “Don’t, don’t you want me?” We found ourselves replying, “Yes, yes we do!” Entitled ‘Lovestruck’ and adorned by a repeated symbol of hands forming a heart – which came as both prints and sequin embellishment – Saab’s collection urged a romantic point of view.

The love parade opened with a striking flutter of Klein-blue ruffles wrapping around the surface of a mini dress, paired with matching thigh-high boots. A solid selection of primary colors introduced a series of jersey dresses, which were a subtle start before the collection blasted off. Soon, printed silks bearing the hand-heart motif were teased and draped into an array of mesmerizing looks – bomber jackets with billowing sleeves, flirty jumpsuits, and capes with massive bows at the throat.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

It’s hard not to respond positively to a show themed on love and lavishly devoted to details worthy of falling for.

And then, Saab did something that few are able to pull off. Eighties prom dresses are often riffed on in pop culture for how nightmarish they look (think Drew Barrymore as a teenager in Never Been Kissed or Rachel in Friends in that infamous flashback). In hindsight, everyone who suffered through the huge puffball sleeves and unflattering shapes of 80s formalwear did so with deep regret. “What were we thinking,” they lament. And yet, when Saab introduced his version on the runway, which first appeared in a deep emerald green with massive sleeves, it looked completely desirable – flattering even.

While a smattering of 80s revivalism pulsed through the collection, silhouettes mostly remained modern. There were lavishly embellished mini dresses, glittering capes, and velvet tuxedos mixed together to form a potent blend of glamour and romance. It’s hard not to respond positively to a show themed on love and lavishly devoted to details worthy of falling for. To deny the allure of such a beautiful collection would mean you’re a real Grinch.

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