Royalty and opulence are embodied in Elie Saab’s Haute Couture collection for spring/summer 2023.
The collection is filled with the grand silhouettes of cape coats and embroidered dresses that make you feel like you’re walking into a golden morning. This is a range that belongs on the glitziest of red carpets and in the grandest of ballrooms. There is nothing simple about it. How often, though, do Lebanese designers actually make staple items?
We are an efficient machine, and our Haute Couture studio has been hard at work on this collection for the past six months. “It encapsulates the splendour of Thailand,” Elie Saab told Euronews Culture. While Saab’s demeanour online is often described as “passionate but serious,” anyone who has spent time in his company can attest to the fact that he is deeply committed to his work.
Without enthusiasm, his collection wouldn’t be as high-quality or lavish, nor would his house have the stellar reputation it does now. This enthusiasm, combined with the desire to help a woman feel attractive by means of clothing, is what motivates him. It’s safe to assume that if you asked a Western woman to name a Lebanese designer, Elie Saab would come up first, if not only.
There must be a special sauce he uses to keep the Elie Saab brand famous around the world. His response, however, is straightforward and rooted in his passion: “Since day one I have presented beautiful clothes and women like to be beautiful.” Behind his shades, Saab says, “I have only had one goal in mind: to create beautiful clothing for women.”
Elie Saab, a one-of-a-kind fashion designer, has spent over four decades honing his craft of haute couture.
Once American actress Halle Berry wore one of his gowns to the 2002 Academy Awards, where she won the Best Actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball, he was catapulted onto the global stage.
Since then, other Lebanese designers have been able to follow in his footsteps. Saab was patiently waiting backstage to meet fans after the show, and he seemed genuinely humbled by the attention.
Saab called his collection “an indulgent escape from the ordinary,” describing how he was moved by Thailand’s rich culture and splendour, of its natural scenes and rituals.
The looks are radiant and shimmer with “shimmering rhinestones and crystals that weave into delicate metallic tresses,” as remarked by the Maison. To put together this collection, we went through a lot of fabric. Light fabrics like tulle and lace that add volume and character to the dresses are also popular.
In this collection of 69 dresses, pearls and crystals are paired with Asian motifs like the naga dragon, crystal rose lotus flowers, and koi fish. This very cultural collection has a romantic vibe thanks to the asymmetrical bodices and deep sweetheart necklines.
The Maison’s past collections have been inspired by faraway lands, but this year’s focus is on Thailand’s royal heritage. As soon as the show ended, everyone wanted to meet Saab and hear his thoughts on the collection and take a photo with him. He patiently greeted almost everyone as they entered, and it was clear that his enthusiasm for both fashion and life would ensure his legacy as a revered master of haute couture around the world.