Elie Saab described his spring summer haute couture collection shown in Paris today as an Ode to Delicacy. "This season, Elie Saab pays homage to fragile elegance," read the show notes and that description was apt. From the opening sequence of ivory gowns finished with sparkling clusters of crystal embroideries, through more sweet dresses in palest pink, gold, mauve and bright poppy red, and finally to the bride in a glittering silk cloud of a gown this was quintessentially feminine - gentle even.
Saab is a relative newcomer to the haute couture schedule but if the clients of all ages and from all continents in attendance were anything to go by business is more than healthy. It's not difficult to see why. There was a freshness to streamlined crepe tailoring, fluid capes, charming lace dresses with full bouncing skirts and more languid jewelled eveningwear that looked as weightless as it did easy to wear.
While the Parisian grande dame might still choose to invest in the great, French names, Saab's contribution is more broadly accessible if not necessarily in terms of price point - that is not the issue here - then certainly in the timeless quality of the designs. The workmanship, however, was just as intricate as the discerning couture customer might wish for. There was a feather-light and always controlled touch to hand-worked faded garden flowers, baroque curlicues of jet and more that will make her a very happy and well-dressed woman indeed.