As an art collector, Elie Saab tends to gravitate to modern works—Picasso, for example. But for fall the designer was in a Renaissance mood, offering up darkly romantic floral motifs with forest, ruby and citrine blooms.
“For me, women’s beauty is the most inspiring thing about any collection, but you still need inspiration for color and form,” the designer offered backstage before the show. Business is brisk, he added, as social engagements come roaring back. “There’s lots of everything right now,” he said.
That held true on the runway, too, with a collection Saab described as “speaking to the 15-year-old and the 100-year-old.” There were plenty of covered-up numbers for the older set, but the energy came through in the kind of fare beloved by the younger crowd that filled the front row, dressed to the nines. That included transparent, sequin-strewn skirts and minis with painterly flowers or diamanté or feather accents; lingerie-inspired corsets or flowers in bold, black macramé and lace (perhaps with a jaunty fedora by Borsalino), and a few puffers embellished in flowers or ostrich feathers to keep out the chill. Organic 3D embroideries, in this season’s requisite acid yellow tones, perhaps mixed with cool blue and pink pastels on a halter gown, also made a strong statement for evening.
With father and son working side by side, the house has recently redefined its strategy, resulting in 55 percent growth in business this past year, Elie Saab Jr. told Vogue: “It took us a lot to get to where we are today, but the recovery was more important than the growth we had in the past.”
A push into the lifestyle and home categories is helping to build momentum, alongside boutique openings in Milan, Riyadh, Qatar, St. Barts, St. Tropez, and soon Monaco. Add to that a burgeoning family of cosmetics, accessories, and a new perfume, Elixir, launching next week, and Saab’s garden appears lush indeed.