For the Elie Saab Spring 2014 Haute Couture collection,the focus was exclusively on after-dark. The colors refracted in those chandeliers provided the palette: first blue, then pink, next blush, followed by black, white, and gray. For decoration, Saab preferred pearls. Tahitian blue for a navy chiffon goddess dress; white pearls on a long-sleeve princess gown; champagne-colored ones for a strapless cocktail number in a neutral shade of pink. The white-on-white looks were the prettiest, but damn if all those embellishments weren’t heavy. A few of the models really struggled with their gowns, and the bride, with her acres of embroidered train, didn’t fare much better. Surely one of Haute Couture’s pleasures should be the way made-to-measure clothes feel on the body.
Amid the tone-on-tone embroideries and the ombré effects, a sweeping ball gown in pink with tiny blue embroidery stood out. So did a couple of dresses that featured a lavish rose print. Saab should keep experimenting with print. For one thing, it’s a whole lot lighter than pearls.