Prized for its weightless nature, couture must be — per ounce — among the most expensive substances on earth. Elie Saab celebrated this fact with a show he dubbed an “ode to delicateness.”

As clunky as that latter word sounds in English (the French delicatesse has a nicer ring), this collection succeeded in conveying a light and graceful mood by exploring degrees of transparency. The Lebanese couturier’s signature crystalline embroideries were scattered across fragile tulle and airy crinoline dresses, in familiar hourglass and fishtail columns, plus a new shorter, flaring Fifties shape.

Saab kept everything tone-on-tone, sticking largely to a pale palette of ivory and makeup pinks, sparked here and there by icy blues and hot coral.

Erogenous zones were often embroidery free, providing a clear view of shoulders — the hands-down favorite body part of this couture season — and occasionally a flash of the buttocks. Typically, dense embroideries were clustered around defined waists, slowing to trickle toward the hems of skirts to reveal the legs underneath.

New territory for Saab included minimalist capes spliced open over the back, which looked smashing over a bustier column in ivory, the bodice ringed with silver. Yes, silver is a metal, but in Saab’s hands, it sure wasn’t heavy.


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