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Elie Saab

Elie Saab Couture Fall/Winter 2012

BYZANTINE BELLES

Paris: Though the Byzantine Empire may seem like an obscure reference, it has been on fashion’s collective consciousness over the past several seasons. Karl Lagerfeld cited the era as the inspiration behind his Pre-Fall 2011 collection for Chanel, and “Byzantine” has appeared as a descriptive term for accessories of late. Elie Saab also looked back to ancient Constantinople for ideas for his current couture offering. The inspiration was manifested with rich embroidery, gilded beads, and a washed-out tile motif. With all the embellishment, it had the potential to feel heavy, but filmy lace and fluid silks kept things remarkably light. Though Saab is known for his body-hugging red carpet numbers, he introduced caftan shapes and looser silhouettes this season. The draping was just right, so the shape of the body was still apparent even on the looser pieces. Full-skirted ballerina dresses made from tulle seemed like a bit of a departure from the more fluid looks, but they are sure to appeal to Saab’s clientel. –Joanna Manganaro 

Silhouette: Long + languid / A-line / Hourglass

Color: Robin’s egg blue / Cream / Chartreuse / Teal / Gold / Beige / Sandy pink

Key Items: Caftans / Ballerina dresses / Embellished lace gowns

Materials: Chantilly lace / Brocade / Tulle / Chiffon / Silk crepe

Print + Pattern: Faded tile motif

Details + Trim: Beading / Embroidery / Jewel Embellishments / Plunging necklines / Piecing / Peplums / Caftan sleeves

Accessories + Footwear: Grosgrain belts / T-strap sandals

View in RUNWAY: QUICKLOOK

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