by AMY VERNER
From a sun-drenched, gilded showroom, it didn’t take much effort to imagine the Elie Saab Resort looks transported en masse—this was a large collection—to a seaside suite in St.-Tropez. The eye paused at ruffled dresses in black or white broderie anglaise, billowing chiffon and lace T-shirt gowns printed with giant poppies, micro-sequin bombers over-embroidered with flowers, a gauzy gingham skirt, and a fringed suede jacket. All that elegance, shimmer, and transparency were exactly what you would expect from Saab transferring his women off the red carpet and into some luxury setting.
Indeed, as much as the overarching French Riviera–meets–1970s starlet theme gave permission to go a little retro redux—think an A-line dress covered in plastic daisy embellishment, silk headscarves, and flared pantsuits—this haute boho vibe was just another way to signal posh trappings. Relaxed style is more relative than you might think; in Elie Saab terms, thigh-high boots, floor-sweeping tulle, and metallic sequin tunics all qualify as components of a versatile wardrobe. Here the mind paused, wondering whether the majority of these flower-power gowns and rainbow sequin–striped cocktail dresses will be bought for a single event and perhaps never worn again—heaven forbid wardrobe repetition. Accordingly, the collection successfully delivered enough options to get through a season of social obligations: garden parties, opera opening nights, weddings, work dinners, and so forth. On the flip side, no one would dispute the tailored jacket designed with slits for shoulder-cape functionality as a good investment piece.
And what to make of the denim grouping? “A first for the Maison,” as noted in the press text, the crisp dark jeans, jacket, and jumpsuit do not imply some new entry-level strategy. Rather, they now exist so that women can dedicate even more closet space to Elie Saab. Compared with the rest of the collection, the pieces were pleasingly basic, as though the brand realizes that its dressy reputation could benefit from clothes that can actually be worn over and over again. Jet-setters need jeans, too.