ELIE SAAB AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
Set in a forest of cardboard cutout trees, this was supposed to be a darkly romantic sylvan slink. Which it was. Elie Saab layered on more rustling foliage than you’d find in the Bois de Vincennes. Yet it transported to New York, too: It had the slickness, the glossiness, and the conventional decadence of the city’s greatest billboard commercial designers—Burch, Kors, Herrera, et al.
In Paris it is unusual to attend a show where the designer makes no attempt—even emptily, disingenuously, or cosmetically—at some artsy-fartsy proposition. Saab, to his credit, didn’t bother. Instead he presented a collection heaped with leafiness: leafy printed macramé lace, leafy appliqué on leather, leafy chiffon, leafy-toned tweeds, and leafy-toned fox fur—you get the drift. Trousers were cut high, skirts were full, and cutaway panels accordioned around the crucial junctures—come-hither frescoes of flesh. Sure, a great many looks were black—and burgundy, too, seemed an odd choice for such an autumnally defined collection. But really, Saab knows what flatters, so why trouble with the small stuff?