For the Elie Saab Spring 2014 collection, the designer went back to the garden. “A Lace Garden,” he called it. There were scads of the stuff in his pretty collection today, all in the colors of flowers: camellia white, rosy pink, bright bougainvillea, and a vivid green. To see this show was to be reminded of how commonplace sheer fabrics and views of the bare skin underneath have become on the runways, even while they’re still scandalously off-limits on the red carpets. Points to Saab’s stylist for finding ways to make the see-through lace look discreet; lingerie could become a growth market for the designer.
Saab gave his filigreed dresses a graphic edge this season with the grosgrain ribbon he used to trim seams. Also new: not one, but two prints. It’s rare to see anything but monochrome on Saab’s runway, but here, colorful roses appeared on the hem of a white party dress and the neckline of a white jumpsuit. There was also a black and white chiaroscuro lace dotted with more flowers that decorated gowns from bust to hem.
Even if the color black doesn’t have much place in a rose garden, the black lace dresses at the end of Saab’s collection stole the show. A halter style that alternated horizontal bands of silk crepe and lace was gorgeous, but getting back to that attractive sense of discretion, the best-looking dress was opaque everywhere except for its lace sleeves.