Long known in the Middle East as a leading haute couture designer, his overtly feminine aesthetic and romantic crystal-encrusted gowns initially attracted princesses, and later, film stars, enamored with his Middle Eastern detailing and European sensibility. Elie Saab’s reputation as a red-carpet designer is well earned. He’s been name-checked again and again on the red carpet by stars like Halle Berry, whom in 2002 stunned the world by wearing Elie Saab’s burgundy number with a sheer, flower embroidered top. It was then that Elie Saab was introduced to the world for his impeccable, show-stopping designs.
For fall 2012, designers took to a deep burgundy and ravishing red when designing their main collections. Brands that got on board with this colour palette included Alexander Wang with his signature Rocco Bag and 3.1 Phillip Lim with his Pashli Satchel. Shoe designers Nicholas Kirkwood and Charlotte Olympia added punches of red to their towering collections of shoes while DVF’s collection, and Jason Wu’s collection of ready-to-wear dresses, tops and trousers also followed suit. Known as the powerhouse of all colour palettes, red is the new black when it comes to making a fashion statement. Street-style trend setters have been seen wearing this colour from head to toe with two-piece suits, and show-stopping dresses. Wall flowers need not apply…but if they’re tempted to try, it’s best to start with small portions, opting for the accessory pieces rather than head-to-toe fire-engine red. Sister colour, burgundy, is a subtle more demure way to wear the strong.
Today, Elie Saab is a name often mentioned before, on and after red carpet events. For Fall 2012 the pre collection and main collection proved that the designer isn’t afraid to break away from simply designing diamanté-encrusted evening gowns as he emphasized on daywear in his pre-fall collection. Monotone shades of nude, blue and black suits were cut in a minimalist approach keeping the decorative details to a peplum waist, contrasting piping or a fox collar. Following the daywear pieces in his collection, Elie Saab’s dresses followed suit this year with diamanté-encrusted detailing at a bare minimum. The designer used a chevron pattern to detail his gowns in shiny sequins creating an alluring figure accentuating silhouette, resulting in a modern, more graphic feel.