PARIS, March 5, 2006 - Cold sunshine burst out for the first time in a week
on Sunday morning, and it must have stirred the fashion crowd. Arriving early
for the Elie Saab show were any number of VIPs making their own fashion
statement. André Leon Talley, U.S. Vogue's Editor-at-large, came in a
military style tunic embellished with medallions and carrying a sack
overflowing with tufts of fur. Michael Roberts, Illustrator for the New
Yorker, chose a knit herringbone cap and dark wool overcoat buttoned up to
his neck, making him look like an MI5 agent traveling incognito. Then there
was the dowager of Middle Eastern descent who tucked the folds of her
unctuous mink ever so carefully to avoid the wheels of her chair.
Saab's models came down a red catwalk, which might make you think of a red
carpet, which in turn might make you think of LA and the Oscars held later in
the day. But the pieces shown in Paris were void of the normal flash, paired
down to workable and wearable dresses. One German editor stuttered to give an
interview in English afterward saying it was the first time he could enjoy an
Elie Saab show without the distraction of sequin overkill. Whatever - it
There were plenty of little black dresses to be found, some fixed with lace,
others pinned with white flowers, still others ornamented with velvet here
and there. A few blouses were even given a good dusting of sparkling sequin
dust. Clouds of nude chiffon were overlaid with black leaf embroidery, and
red was used to offset the heavily black palette. There was still enough
glitter in the folds of one evening gown to cause a model to slip.
This was the best work yet from Elie Saab, and he's evidently decided that
the old proverb rings true - less is more.