Elie Saab has found his Renaissance woman, and she wears puffer jackets.
The Lebanese designer looked to the art of the 15th century with all its soft colors and big blooms for a fall collection full of dresses and suits with the quintessentially elegant embroidery that is a Saab signature. He always sends out a runway of reliable red carpet-ready hits in glamorous gowns, pants, capes and blazers.
This season he added puffer jackets for the first time, with floral prints, feathered flair and big silver zippers front and center. A voluminous ball gown was paired with a simple pullover sweater, tucked-in, belted and with sleeves pushed up. The twist felt carefree and gave the collection a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Much of this has to do with the appointment of his son, Elie Saab Jr. as chief executive officer in 2019. Saab the younger has been looking to add more accessible products, he said before the show, especially the brand’s fragrances and accessories. That was evident as models walked in Elie Saab sunglasses and boots, with the brand’s intertwined motif boldly placed in gold on the heel of each pair, and carried Elie Saab bags.
“We have 12 stores and our plan is to have 25 stores by 2025, and this is shifting our way of thinking on extending our product categories and developing the business in a more dynamic and active way,” Saab Jr. said before the show.
Saab is looking to cast a wider age range net with new shapes and products, but not looking to abandon his house’s codes in search of the new new thing.
On dresses, petals appeared in pinks, white and blues, delicately falling from waistline flowers embroidered on sheer gowns underpinned with briefs. Very on trend, but let’s remember that Saab is, after all, the man who practically invented it with Halle Berry’s famed Oscar gown 21 years ago. Sheer capes with hoods demurely draped over the head added a breezy flow.
He continues to work his magic on solid colors as well, in deep reds and a bright chartreuse that bordered on fluorescent, bouncing layers of color in a swishy taffeta. It might be a hard wear for anyone older than 25 in IRL, but it caught the eye on the runway.