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Elie Saab

For many designers, the in-between seasons are about margin drivers: the sorts of reliable standbys that are almost guaranteed to please existing clients. Elie Saab, however, wanted to bring something unexpected to Pre-Fall, introducing a slew of new techniques and fabrics. “Pre-collections are becoming increasingly important for the brand,” said Saab. “Our customers are constantly looking for standout and unique pieces.”

Saab’s theme was “folk reverie,” which meant full skirts, harvest-inspired motifs, and fur—lots of it. He embroidered red and purple flowers and black lace, creating texture without the typical beading. An abstract floral brocade—another first—mimicked lace on party dresses and ball skirts, and a striped brocade was patchworked into a floral on a striking champagne gown. Fox fur accented a dramatic floor-length black coat—the dream party topper. A cutout floral jacket in red-dyed lamb’s fur couldn’t be ignored either. The folksy feeling has been in the eveningwear air for some time now, but Saab’s interpretation was pretty, tasteful, and very much what his customer is after.

—Lauren Sherman,

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