Elie Saab took a break from prepping his upcoming couture show to Zoom about his pre-fall lineup. On paper, these categories of fashion are about as far apart as possible. Being custom, couture is the most individual form of dressmaking; because the pre-collection sits the longest on the selling floor, its appeal must be a bit broader. Saab’s aim, however, was to build a kind of bridge between the two—to bring a “couture touch” to ready-to-wear.
This was the most convincing daywear I’ve seen from Saab maybe because he skipped any references to focus on the basics: color, shape, fabric. Most surprising was the designer’s choice to work with scuba fabrics and it paid off in the form of a red, floral appliqué dinner dress with a pretty portrait neckline and the “hug”-like fit typical of the material.
Sophistication was what Saab was after, and he achieved it in terms of palette, by focusing on “recherche” grenadine rather than red, for example. The designer has tried “hoodies” before but this season’s models, paired with midi skirts, were convincing. He cut his pants full, which is in line with what we’ve been seeing throughout the season. Ditto the lacy white lingerie dresses. These, like many other pieces made use of fil à broder (thread embroidery), a conscious choice on the part of Saab, who was more focused on lightness and simplicity than glitz this season.