Elie Saab reminded us of his red carpet prowess by hosting Jennifer Lopez in the front row. The Lebanese master of shape and sparkle has dressed her “oh, like hundreds of times,” Saab said after the show, and she wanted to support her longtime friend.
Lopez caused such commotion when she arrived in the room bathed in ochre light for the collection, titled “Desert Rose,” that it ended up with some photographers being escorted from the show.
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The collection was inspired by the “mystery of Morocco, inside the souk and the light of the desert,” Saab said. He highlighted that while similar, it is different than his native country. “The shapes are not the same and the embroidery is different, but it’s a sister,” he said.
Saab looked to the intricate and geometric patterns of the country’s architecture. He transposed these to filigree on capes and gowns, with gold working its way across soft sunset colors. The punched metalwork of Moroccan interior design and lighting also played into the bodices and with graphic lines and inlaid florals.
Where he strayed from symmetry in a one-shouldered wrap cape that looped from shoulder to wrist, it added a refreshing air of volume, and an outstretched batwing cape created moody drama when the model walked into the light.
It all made for great photos, which is why he is a celebrity favorite for his red carpet gowns. But do they sell? Elie Saab Group chief executive officer Elie Saab Jr. insisted so.
“Couture is not just a tool for us. It’s not just an image-maker like it is for maybe other brands,” said Saab Jr. “For us it is the core of our DNA and is an important part of our business. Of course, it has limitations in terms of growth and expansion because the clientele is very particular, but it remains an important business line.”
Saab just inked a deal last week with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to stage a fashion show and immersive experience there during its annual festival Riyadh Seasons, which will take place in October. It follows the opening of his flagship there last May.
Launch Gallery: Elie Saab Couture Spring 2024
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