by AMY VERNER
Being over- or underdressed is usually situation-specific, but when surrounded by Elie Saab creations, you have the distinct feeling of the latter. And this isn’t just owing to the eveningwear in all its transparent tulle and beaded splendor. Even the new Pre-Fall looks destined for day—a dress with a deep triangle cut-out, a clingy knit frock spliced with lace, a sophisticated shawl-collar coat—present a level of ultra-feminine polish that most of us reserve for special occasions. Mind you, the designer knows his clients and proposes these pieces aware that there are women from around the world who have reason to wear them.
As with any Saab collection, silhouettes were attractive and idealized, accentuating narrow waists and long legs. Dresses that skimmed the body were fluid rather than constricting, while coats were given dramatic volume. Among the recurring themes was a chain motif rendered several ways: in shimmering embroidery; as actual chain, very fine and applied to highlight the body; and as an allover print. While some will appreciate its retro-chic quality, the more interesting motif featured a random arrangement of dark brushstrokes against a Champagne-hued mikado background. As a dress or a coordinated look, it would make a striking impression at a fundraiser or wedding alike. A gold buckle shaped as a dragon’s head was impossible to miss as a belt or at the shoulders of a jumpsuit. It was nearly the size of a door knocker. But with hardware like that, you’d be fully dressed.