PFW: ELIE SAAB A/W 2015

Elie Saab
Elie Saab A/W 2015. Photo credit: Kim WestonArnold / Indigitalimages.com

The setting was dramatic, the show space dark with large, leafless tree cutouts scattered around. House lights dimmed, guests took their seats, and the music, a military drum line, came up. A collection named Into The Light was about to hit the runway. Supermodel Karlie Kloss steps onto the catwalk wearing a full-length military-styled coat loaded with brass buttons, but unless she’s right next to you, you don’t know that. Why? Someone forgot to turn up the runway lights.

Oops.

Kloss was almost to the end of the runway before the lights came up. One has to wonder if a less-experienced model might have had some difficulty navigating the runway in the dark, but if Karlie was the least bit fazed by the error she didn’t show it. So, the models went marching on. The first several looks had a very military feel to them with brass buttons galore. Those gradually gave way to a slightly softer look with lace panels running down the sleeves as the palette turned from black to dusty (not quite military) green.

Saab has been focusing a lot more on ready-to-wear the past few seasons and with this collection the number of gowns are surprisingly few and scattered as if the minimize their importance in the collection. Instead, he places much more emphasis on pieces such as pant suits, jumpers, coats, and skirts with origami folds in front, and tea-length dresses with flared skirts, each infused with a special touch to make even the ordinary a bit more glamorous.

Highlights from this collection include, but are not limited to, same-color embroidery adding a layer of texture that is both subtle and supple; unexpected lace panels in non-traditional cutouts; and photographic color prints of forest scenes that are certainly dramatic on an Elie Saab gown, but will blow eyes out in a skin-tight jumper with matching moto jacket.

This is, once again, a very large collection and Saab maintains at least a hint of a dark, brooding, military feel, as though fashion is marching forward ready to conquer.  When the track shifts to the eery Marilyn Manson cover of Sweet Dreams, a chill ran down my back. Sure, the gowns are gorgeous, but this daywear collection isn’t going to sit in the back seat like a step sister any longer. This is a ready-to-wear collection good for any time of day, and any circumstances. They’re coming into the light, determined to take over your wardrobe.

Be ready.

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