Elie Saab

PARIS, October 8, 2006 - Moments before the Elie Saab show began on Sunday, a reporter from Fashion TV ran breathlessly up to Vogue's Editor-at-Large, André Leon Talley. The question she blurted out, "Are you happy it's the last day of fashion week?", was answered with a polite, if rehearsed, line. At times it seem that fashion lives in its own hermetically sealed bubble, but once in a while, the world that exists outside punctures that surreal fantasy.

It's amazing that Elie Saab even produced a spring collection. With war breaking out in his native Lebanon last summer, he was forced to work in exile in Paris. Once hostilities ceased and he returned to Beirut, he chose to redesign the collection, banishing all color in a sign of respect for his ravaged homeland.

With tiers of gold lamé and ribs of sequins, circular metallic medallions and trains of vaporous mouselline, he produced an alternate collection inspired by the sun of Beirut. What it lacked in variety was made up for in sparkle. Powdery beige chiffon prints meant to evoke daybreak and jacquard of silk and lurex created a veritable sunburst.

If, as program notes suggested, this collection was an homage to Lebanon, it would seem that brighter days are just ahead.

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