Elie Saab Pre-Fall 2023

Elie Saab imagined the pre-fall collection as a return to reality, for women who want to be “cool and shine from the morning onward,” the couturier said at a preview.

And in this reality, no garment is too pedestrian to wear — provided it is worked over with a couture eye.

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Take sportswear and athleisure. In Saab’s hand, they’re zhuzhed up with all manners of hand-crafted techniques taken from his couture playbook to form the bedrock of an ever-expanding daywear category. Jewel tones and see-through panels added to his intention of offering “relaxing but exceptional” fare to his well-heeled clientele.

Cue oversize hoodies decked with appliqué flowers, sweatshirts perforated with tone-on-tone grommets, thick twill separates livened up with graphic top-stitching or a zippered leather blouson overlaid with embroidered tulle. There are even sweatpants that had nothing schlubby about them.

On tailored fare, being real translated into sequins scattered on black tweed separates or a checked pattern reworked with abstract studded curves — from afar, they formed the brand monogram.

For those in the market for decidedly evening styles, the couturier delivered glamorous but believable fare, lining up draped goddess gowns, monochromatic sheath dresses, sequined suiting in changeant tones of aqua and purple. There was even another hoodie, this time dressed in silver and gold sequins.

Saab quipped that he wanted to “spend the day and the evening with his clients,” who he feels are once again always on the go. Given the high proportion of crease-adverse fabrics he lined up, from scuba material and thick knits to tweeds and twills, he might just get his wish.

Launch Gallery: Elie Saab Pre-Fall 2023

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