Everything Elie… and then Saab more.

Rekindling love for a designer, and some personal style happiness.

It’s been a while since I religiously kept track of what my favourite couture designer, Elie Saab was up to. I had no idea what his latest collections looked like until the other day when I decided to stalk his Paris Fashion week Fall collection (delayed, I know). While a lot of Saab’s collection plays it safe, teasing hints of lace and geometric cut-outs still provide an edge, the clear process each garment has gone through is what leaves me in awe. The main reason that I will call him my favourite couture designer has been his constant attention to fine detail. There is nothing better than tiny special detail on a garment, no matter what that garment may be. It tells me firstly that the designer loves what he is doing and has played a constant role in overseeing the whole process of his creation, putting lots of thought into his work, thus making me respect him/her even more.

These are some of my favourite garments from Saab’s Fall 2010/11 collection.

I love how this dress (above) is completely embellished, by hand. It takes everything up a notch, appearance, quality, luxury.

(above) This one is just pretty. I want to wear it and run in slow motion. It is so princess, so greek goddess, so light. However the use of colour is rather sinister. Such lovely cheek, it goes against what one would expect from my description.

(above and below) Saab plays with the infamous “LBD”, experimenting with volume and accentuating silhouettes, giving it a modern flair, opposing the notion of it having to be something classic, simple and timeless.

I feel like this dress (below) is a tribute to Alexander McQueen. The shape and the use of lace is very reminiscent of the romance that influenced him in his Spring Summer 2007/8 collection, except it is a lot safer, and so is its styling.

Looking back at Saab’s creations stretching just over a decade, this is his particular style. You just don’t realize it at first. But take a deeper look and you’ll see there’s a lot more to what you see. His creations have personality, and they come to life when worn.
Once again this makes me think of the clothing we wear every day. I think I love vintage items because they have personality too, and their appearance tells a story. I wonder what adventures were embarked on in the clothing before I owned it, when I wasn’t born, or when I was still fretting in KTV t-shirts. In general, detail and finishing makes me feel like a designer cares about those wearing his clothes, and thus both designer and consumer are left with a mutual trust in one another. There is nothing better than buying a garment and seeing something unexpected on the inside, or barely-there branding to show one that the makers of that garment have gone that extra mile for you.

for example:
When I wear this vest, this is what everyone else sees… —————>

Of course, if you don’t trust your designer or are unhappy with your lack of detail and caliber of design, it is always a good thing to take matters into your own hands. There’s nothing like finding something with potential, cutting it up and turning it into something new. For a while now, I have been having fantasies where I take over the world in thigh-high boots. However, being in my final year at varsity has prohibited me from getting a job to fund this dream, until one day, suspicious antibiotics convinced me that I can turn my mother, an unprofessional seamstress and leather bag-maker, into an unprofessional boot modifier so that I can have my thigh-highs.

Under my strict supervision, I had my mother hem together two-ply pieces of genuine leather, and then attach these to the top of my boots, thereby extending its length to just below my thigh. She tapered it all the way down so that it would hug my leg. I tied two more thin straps of leather just below the new addition to marry the two extremes and create a finish. And now I can barely get my feet out of them, because the new detail just makes me feel so good.