The muse of the new Elie Saab Spring 2016 Haute Couture collection, was Englishwoman on a trip to the subcontinent. Citing the travels of an Anglo-Irish noblewoman Lilah Wingfield and her travels to Delhi Durbar in 1911, the collection combined Victorian elements with traditional Indian style.

“India is her backdrop and her inspiration for a new blend of formalism and ease, opulence and elementary lines.”

Patterns of fine lace, embroidery and beading throughout the collection suggest elaborate architectural motifs and the bougainvillea, jasmine and palm tree foliage of an airy royal palace she might find. They uplift the muted tones and predominantly sporty silhouettes into the domain of the exquisite.

From the bustling markets of Bombay to ancient city capitals and great expanses of countryside a colour palette emerges in hues of argile, grey, English Rose, tundra and blue.

Accessories reflect an explorer’s spirit in flat, worked-leather shoes and detailed metal jewellery. Satchel bags and ornamented headpieces are appropriated from her new environment.

Structure and fluidity rebound, one off of the other, in the Elie Saab Spring 2016 Haute Couture collection. Through the perspective of the adventuress lies the intersection of convention and daring, new horizons and cultural encounter.