Autumn/winter is Elie Saab’s season. Allowing the designer to fully play out his dark, opulent fantasies, it’s about after-hours, high-drama eveningwear, and Saab is the master at delivering hit after hit, ready for the A-list. That’s not to say that his Spring/Summer 2017 collection was any less of a line-up, however; the Studio 54-style disco glitter dresses and gowns delivered majorly on red carpet mileage. But if last season’s Saab woman was a little more carefree, this season she was fully back to black, with Giselle – the tragic ballet, with its doomed and haunting romance – setting the mise-en-scène.
Mesmerising from first to final exit, the effect was almost hypnotic, as Saab lulled the audience with velvet appliquéd lilies, great swathes and ruffles of lace, tulle, velvet, silk and chiffon, finished with feathers, fur, sequins and ribbons. The palette worked through twilight shades – ink, deep plum, indigo and pink, as the day collapsed into night.
Using jackets to add structure to otherwise floaty, ethereal and fluid silhouettes – think a biker style painted with night-blooming flowers topping a cascading silk gown, studded or embossed leather jackets framing sheer tulle dresses. Meanwhile, military-esque coats and leather trousers signaled the fading sense of masculinity unfolding within the ballet.