PFW: ELIE SAAB F/W 2014

Let’s just skip quickly over the obvious, shall we? Yes, Elie Saab’s gowns are beautiful, flowing, and feminine, just as they are season after season after season. They are lovely to watch on Angelina Jolie as she floats down the red carpet. The odds of you ever actually owning one are slim, however, because a) they’re incredibly expensive, and b) you probably don’t have anywhere to wear one that would justify the expense.  Elsa Pataky did demonstrate for us at last night’s Oscars that Saab gowns are incredibly flexible and can be tailored to fit most any body, including one that is apparently a gazillion months pregnant (I kept waiting for her water to break during the show). Still, I just don’t see too many people purposefully wearing an $8,000 gown into labor and delivery. Nonetheless, the gowns this season are wonderful. Done.

Now, let’s talk about the really good stuff that just maybe you can afford to wear, if you save up  your nickles and dimes and knock a latte or two from your six-Starbucks-a-day habit. Saab works from a very simple color palette this season, with only maroon, pink, blue, and black pieces coming down the runway. Each color was grouped together and most of the day wear looks were monochromatic. The lines were clean, trim, and reasonably fitted. With each color, the looks would begin with the most casual, such as one of the stunning pant suits, and then graduate to becoming more formal until he reached the gowns. What this did was present a clear line showing just how well Elie Saab can dress not only the most formal of occasions, but those one has every day as well.

Shining within each color section, except black where it would have been moot, are digital color-to-black gradients. With each, the full black arrives right at the waist, creating a visually slimming look typically augmented by a two-inch wide belt. This makes for a very feminine silhouette and very attractive day wear that doesn’t come across as too power hungry. Within the black-toned segment, we see an abundance of very sexy sheer lace applied to both dresses and pants suits, making them logical winners for winter parties. There is a small section of floral prints which brings all three colors together on a black background, though I got the impression those were included more for variety’s sake than anything. Still, they are quite lovely pieces.

The only curious element to this very common-sense collection are the darts in some of the more casual dresses, right at the breast line. While I know they are there to accent and help provide some shape to the garment, I was surprised at just how visible they were, almost as if they were not completely sewn. If this was one of those can’t-tell-till-its-on errors, then we won’t see it by the time the dresses come through production.

I have always found it interesting how that certain labels become so well known for something that people completely ignore styles that are often better and more wearable. Such is certainly the case with Elie Saab. Yes, his evening gowns are exquisite, no one would argue that fact, but few of us get to walk the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Look at the other choices Elie Saab has and one will find his fashion is applicable for just about any occasion one might encounter.

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