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Elie Saab has serious awards' season appeal with fairytale frocks

January 23, 2013
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Elie Saab is the undisputed king of the red carpet, having dressed hundreds of A-listers in his ladylike, glamorous creations. So it's no surprise that the man with serious awards' season appeal isn't straying far from his signature look of pretty, feminine gowns with striking silhouettes in sumptuous materials and heavy embellishment. With a spring/summer theme that was "an ode to delicateness," the Lebanese-born designer took Paris Couture Week by storm on Wednesday, unveiling a collection that relied heavily on luxurious sheer and transparent lace, silk and tulle.

The colour palette of ivory, pink and light served to heighten the delicate theme, while embellishments in the form of white pearls, paillettes and crystals added the shimmer and sparkle that Elie's creations are known for. The stunning array of fairy tale princess gowns were broken up only by the finale, which saw black dresses more suited to the wicked witch float past. A show-stopping, enormous bridal gown adorned with the prettiest patterns in lace and tulle, finished the presentation to rapturous applause from the exclusive audience. Trends to emerge from the show seem to be in tune with many of the designers that have already presented their couture offerings: midi lengths were a prominent feature, as explored at Giambattista Valli; capes and upper body details were reminiscent of Chanel's strong emphasis on the shoulders and bodices, seen at Dior and Armani, featured heavily.

On hand to check out what red carpet creations the designer has to offer for the next season was Dita von Teese, who looked typically classic in a fitted black dress and subtly sparkly coat that was perfectly offset by her red lipstick. After watching Elie's beautiful show, fashion week-goers were treated to a colour explosion from Jean-Paul Gaultier. While most couturiers are wary of experimenting with colour when designing haute couture, the French fashion maestro had been brave enough to send out multicoloured patchwork trousers, bright green belts and orange jackets. But more wearable confections were offered up in the form of edgy evening dresses in shades of black, white and sequin silver, while he made sure to explore the trend of the moment – monochrome stripes – with black and white striped dresses.

The fashion world is now waiting to see what master of couture Valentino has up his sleeve for the next season when he unveils his new collection on Wednesday evening, followed by Maison Martin Margiela, who recently collaborated with high street giant H&M. Thursday, meanwhile, will see Zuhair Murad, a label loved by Jennifer Lopez and Blake Lively, present its latest wares, and the fabulous week of haute couture will be wrapped up with Herve L. Leroux.

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