A sharp, sleek graphicism, but with a frisson of seduction. The Autumn-Winter 2014/2015 ELIE SAAB collection dovetails the house’s signature femininity with a new geometry of cut, shape and decoration, to create a fresh and arresting hybrid.
The work of Mark Rothko is the collection’s key starting point. This surrendered the collection’s linear focus as well as a rich palette of luminous color, merlot and emerald highlighted with pale rose. These shades, often in dégradé from one hue through to another to create an optical illusion on the female form, are worked across fabrics from velvet, crepe and chiffon, through to cashmere and mink.
When black appears, it dazzles, the surfaces intricately worked with embroideries to build up dense, rich textures, like the strokes on a Rothko canvas. A dark romance is added through the introduction of a floral print, the brilliant colors of unfurling flowers silhouetted against black.
Silhouettes are reminiscent of mid-century couture: the refined hourglass of the 1950s versus the graphic shifts of the sixties. Floating pleats on short skirts create a sense of movement, echoed in the swinging volumes created by pin-tucks on peplums and the reverse of jackets.
For this collection, ELIE SAAB establishes a new accessories signature: not a single handbag, but an entire vocabulary, building on the House’s love of precious femininity. Strong, structured rectilinear shapes, reminiscent of the clean lines of the clothes, are suspended from chain and leather straps that resemble modernist jewelry. Evening minaudières are bound in gold.
The handbags’ surface textures are an exercise in precious skins: mink, crocodile and finest leathers, in the jewel tones that dominate the collection. They have a quintessential classicism, highlighted with a distinct contemporary edge, a reflection of this collection as a whole.
Photos courtesy of Elie Saab