Review of Elie Saab

Spring 2022 Couture

Review of Elie Saab Spring 2022 Couture Fashion Show

Flowers, Power

By Mark Wittmer

In-demand atelier commander Elie Saab balances gorgeous organic forms and icy bespoke beauty in his Spring 2022 couture collection presented from Paris.

From the very first look, the collection’s primary motif is that of flowers, which are threaded throughout the collection as both impressive structural elements and as delicate ornamentation. Dresses blossom with delicate fabric and feathers meticulously crafted into a blanket of bougainvillea that envelops its wearer or glides gracefully along behind her. Other pieces are made of delicate sheer fabric overgrown with intricate green and pink embroidery

On other pieces, the motif is more suggestive, embodied in the twist of a dress, the bunch of a bow, structural pieces that unfurl like petals.

Around the middle of the show, the organic forms and vibrant floral colors are suddenly punctuated by the icy whites and silvers of dresses whose characters are pure ornamentation, abstract and inaccessible beauty. This is couture in perhaps its original sense, a pure ownership of crystallized power, shimmering wealth, an icy gaze and unattainable beauty. Dresses drip with crystals, glisten with exorbitant beadwork and metals.

Saab then begins to incorporate these techniques and aesthetics back into the established flower motif, sending out looks that balance these personae of forest nymph and ice queen.

It’s an impressively cohesive couture collection that, among its moments of shimmering ostentation, also has moments of quietly unfolding beauty.