Ellie Saab showcases warrior women and a godly collection of feathers and glimmering beads on the Haute Couture runway.
Set inside a Parisian market with a pitched roof and some translucent fabric hanging from a square runway, the Ellie Saab collection sets the tone for a dreamy and bold collection.
There’s no beating around the bush at the Haute Couture Ellie Saab runway. The Lebanese designer starts out strong, and by strong, we mean a fierce, floor-length black dress covered in red feathers which in turn are arranged in Aztec-looking patterns.
The upper body, composed of a series of geometric black straps, is equally eye-catching. The strong first look is promptly followed by a feathered cape, evoking royalty glory in, again, feathers and beads. It’s impressive, bold and loud.
The runway continues in shades of red and black, dresses wrapping around necks in extravagant collars, or intricately beaded fits which look worthy of a glamorous Met Gala. It’s giving bravery, power and elegance which contrasts with the delicate tailoring and couture the models are wearing.
As the red and blacks fade out of the runway, in come the pastels and nudes. We are no longer talking about a strong colour presence on the runway, but instead, we find dresses with feather hems, transparencies, puffed-up sleeves and shiny sequins.
The calmness of the palette doesn’t last long and is momentarily interrupted by darker blacks, which come up in a turtle neck dress, a cape, a sculptural collar and a dress which draws the eye to the model’s waist through its patterns and tailoring.
The next set of outfits feels romanesque, perhaps because of their nude shades or patterns. They are all eccentric, loud pieces which stand out as individual outfits.
This is, in fact, one of the strengths of the show, which does not depend on the collection being viewed as a whole but functions as individually charming pieces in a homogenous collection.
For the first time in history, Ellie Saab has introduced menswear into their Haute Couture runway. It comes up in the form of feathered capes, velvet suits and the same glimmering details which deem the female counter side so otherworldly. The men, just like the women, look powerful and brave with feathers decorating their bejewelled capes.
The show comes to an end with a short apparition of Ellie Saab himself, which shows up in an all-black suit, sunglasses and a smile on his face. He merrily walks the runway waving to the crowd, which remains stunned at one of Haute Couture’s most dazzling collections yet.