No big celebrities at Elie Saab this season. “Mostly socials,” the PRs shrugged. One could even spot a couple of empty seats, including the one that belonged to American Vogue’s Mark Holgate, who moved to standing for a speedy exit as the delayed start ticked past 40 minutes.
By contrast, there was no shortage of selfies taken by Petra Němcová, whose endless preening and recording entertained those who waited it out. Once the show finally started, there was no shortage of gold, the inspiration for the show, and the common thread across the parade of gauzy evening finery, embellished to coronation-worthy degrees with elaborate embroideries and even mink trim at the shoulders.
While Kurt Cobain was growling, “I’m so horny,” on the soundtrack, this was a romantic outing for Saab, who dispensed with daywear and cocktail dresses and went to town with gowns. Shapes ran from Princess Anna slender to Cinderella full, alongside a few jumpsuits and the odd caftan.
Caped backs through to full-on trains added grandeur — and more real estate for sparkly decorations in varied patterns, from butterfly wings and Byzantine motifs to the usual gamut of vines and flowers.
Occasionally Saab interrupted his gold rush with gowns in deep green, burgundy or black, or printed with giant peonies. But he saved plenty of that honey-colored metal for the finale gown, which bulged to the full width of the runway, the hem brushing everyone’s ankles.
Turns out that bridal dress was a wink to July 4, 1990, when Elie married Claudine and she walked down the aisle in a similarly gilded Saab creation. Gold, schmold: Let’s hear it for silver. Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Saab.