Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Elie Saab Spring 2016 Collection

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For better or worse, 2015 is the year Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid took the fashion world by storm. The immensely popular duo and self-described “besties” have been sizzling their way from New York to Paris, and every outing they partake in, every runway appearance, and every party they arrive at correlates with a profound outpouring of social media posts. They are, in effect, human clickbait.

Brands have caught on to the Kendall-Gigi phenomenon and have employed them in order to boost sales. For example, when Estée Lauder announced that Jenner would be its new brand ambassador, its Instagram numbers leapt by 50,000 followers in two days. Elie Saab, the red carpet’s grand vizier, has been steadily reworking his aesthetic of late to make it more youthful and saleable. By introducing more casual items, like feminine separates and street style outerwear, alongside his extravagantly appointed red-carpet fare, he is extending the language of his brand so that it appeals to a younger audience. For Spring/Summer 2016, he took the extension to its logical extreme by tapping the powerful Jenner-Hadid duo to not only walk the show, but close it in a glamorous moment, which was instantly pinged around the world via social media. However, for Saab, it was less about making sales (his brand has enjoyed a healthy year by all accounts) and more about cementing his association with the most popular “It” girls in the world.

Elie Saab tapped the powerful Jenner-Hadid duo to not only walk the show, but close it in a glamorous moment.

On the runway, a new generation of Saab designs spoke to the brand’s improved direction. There were striped gazar bomber jackets worn atop frilly frocks, track suiting, loungewear, knit jumpsuits, and adorably brief playsuits that featured navy stripes and hibiscus prints. It was quite flirty, representing the kind of clothes the gamine would effortlessly flit about town in. The binding agent for the entire collection was lace, which added an undercurrent of grown-up romanticism to Saab’s girlish presentation. There were ivory lace maxis, tiny lace shorts, tiered lace gowns, and even lace bombers. There were also swift reminders of Saab’s skill at embellishment, with many looks featuring delicate appliqués and paillettes, which offered tactile dimensionality to the collection. Closing looks returned to the sequined sparkle he is so well known for, with Jenner in a glittering jumpsuit trimmed with a sheer overlay that fluttered as she stomped down the runway. It made for the kind of moment that instantly finds its way onto the front page of every online media site and every social media newsfeed, which is, essentially, exactly what it was intended to do.

Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree

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