Elie Saab introduced kiddie couture at his fall display, and the little girls looked adorable, beaming in their princess versions of grown-up gowns, paraded side by side. Full-skirted sparklers have been a Saab specialty — and the stuff of dreams for the Disney set — since forever. There were plenty here in blush-toned tulle and crinoline, bedazzled with 3-D floral embroideries, sequined hearts or starburst crystal embroideries.

 

Yet it was easier than ever to divine the adult fare as Saab let loose with thigh-high slits, plunging décolleté, asymmetric hip swags and sexy, bare backs. The collection was a bit more tense, steamier and a tiny bit rougher than usual.

 

New York was cited as the inspiration, which Saab seems to view as a city of architecture and birds, the two main motifs for embellishments. Velvet columns with jutting starburst encrustations captured the Art Deco grandeur of New York’s most iconic skyscrapers; a more literal interpretation saw the Chrysler Building’s terraced crown immortalized on coats and ballgowns. A cape-shouldered tunic, interpreted in channels of ostrich feathers and jet beds and paired with a black chiffon swirling around the legs like diesel exhaust, seemed to best capture the city’s gritty glamour — and revealed a sultrier side of Saab.

 

While most of the show was dedicated to evening gowns, Saab included chic luncheon suits with asymmetrical peplums that had a whiff of Dior’s famous Bar suit, zhushed up with his inimitable flair for intricate ornamentation. There were none of these for the kiddies.

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