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.

Racy Yet Regal At Elie Saab

Godfrey Deeny
January 26th, 2011 @ 12:51 AM - Paris

If you have ever had any questions about how modern grand dames like to dress, and how informed movie stars prefer to be attired, then try to check out an haute couture collection by Elie Saab, the Lebanese couturier, whose fashion vision is very much at the service of women.

Where quite a few Paris haute couture collections shown in Paris this week will merely end up in editorial shoots, neither borrowed by movie stars nor acquired by clients, that is not the case at Saab. His shows are packed with real live clients.

Judging from this posh yet suggestive spring 2011 collection, one can fully understand why: these rather dreamy clothes underlined that Saab’s first love is femininity.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, the couturier opened his spring 2011 collection with a quartet of long lace dresses, embellished with sequins and embroidered with tulle flowers that were the epitome of lady-like elegance. At the mid-point of the show, Saab injected three sizzling strawberry chiffon cocktail dresses and evening gowns where the sleight-of-hand in the savvy draping had great poise.

“People often ask me what is my inspiration and I always think it’s the same thing, feminine beauty,” smiled Saab backstage.

His clothes were classy yet never stiff, and the flared shapes and vertical slits of many of his dresses revealed a certain amount of thigh. The highlight was a dark section of midnight blue and black sequined dresses made with organza bands, especially one worn by Polish model Magdalena Frackoviak, who also opened the show. Talk about a pulse-quickening look.

“I adore what he does, he understands a woman’s body, flatters it and makes you feel special,” opined Elissa Khoury, the Lebanese singer often nicknamed the Madonna of the Middle East, who showed up at Saab’s show in one of his scallop-hemmed violet crepe suits.

Saab’s oeuvre is limited – all 42 looks were dresses in a show practically devoid of jackets. His clothes are not especially innovative and his style is defiantly classical. But what Saab does, he does with panache. No wonder he counts amount his clients Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Queen Rania of Jordan, Teri Hatcher and Angelina Jolie[.

This collection was a timely reminder that sometimes fashion should have a very simply goal – making a woman look and feel special. These clothes will do precisely that.

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