No matter that it was just past noon on a Wednesday. Elie Saab got right down to business with his fall couture show, sending out a series of sexy, filmy and spangled black evening gowns to deafening dance music. They were right on the money for his rich-lady clients and celebrity fans.
The pinched-waist or blouse-topped silhouettes were familiar, as were the embroideries — beads, sequins, crystals — streaked on delicate tulle. Fragile lace traced the necklines and V-backs of some gowns. The neat braided hair and ramrod posture of the models recalled the prim styling of recent Valentino shows.
Saab cited Turkey as his inspiration, with Ottoman motifs “infusing the collection with imperial splendor,” he said. Notwithstanding encrusted embroideries galore, he etched the theme with a light hand: in the dreamy, Bosphorus blues of some dresses; the faded carpet prints adorning others. Gowns, cocktail suits and coats, however, were liberally splashed with gold.
Before the bride trundled out in a heavy brocade gown and lengthy train, Saab gave one more wink to the red carpet, and to Turkey, letting two crescent shapes — symbols of the empire and Constantinople — frame the tiny waist of a plunging, scintillating gold number. The motifs further elongated that tall drink of water known as Karlie Kloss.