Fall 2014 Haute Couture: A Pearl and Crystal Winter at Elie Saab


Elie Saab was at least the second couturier to conjure Elsa, the heroine of the movie Frozen, on his haute couture catwalk. But unlike On Aura Tout Vu’s warrior princess portrayal, the Lebanese designer’s protagonist was gentler, gliding dream-like through her shimmering palace in ice-blue and pearly grey gowns.

While Saab is a master of delicate micro-pailette embroideries on lace, he also experimented with new embellishments this season, in particular pearls and Swarovski crystals. Tone-on-tone pearls of all sizes were a dominant theme of his Fall/Winter 2014 Haute Couture collection, with the designer using them liberally on many outfits, sometimes sewn onto the fabric, at other times slightly dangling for added movement, transforming materials like tulle and lace into shimmery surfaces that will surely shine under the glare of camera flashes on the red carpet, where so many of his celebrity clients seemingly feel at home.

The romantic palette ranged from ice blue to midnight indigo, then to antiqued rose, copper and nude, giving a few flashes of warmth. One of the highlights of the collection was a stunning hand-painted silk gown with red and pink peonies that merged into a pool of blue embroidered flowers. Silhouettes were flowy and flattering, accenting by a deep-V cut here or a fox fur stole there. No surface was left unadorned, and dresses even concealed embroidery inside, against the body — a celebration of the intimacy of haute couture.