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Couture That Empowers at Elie Saab Fall 2017

When Vogue Arabia interviewed Elie Saab for its May print issue, the Lebanese designer, sitting at a long table at his Paris headquarters surrounded by couture-shrouded mannequins, said, “I’m not here to remake the wheel.” Saab has always been close to his clients, women who keep coming back because he gives them what they want. But if ever there was a collection that is for the client and the client alone – that would be couture. And this season, he offered women the opportunity to live out their childhood (and potentially adult) fantasies and dress like a queen. Cue 13th-century flute sleeves, regal embroideries splayed out on yokes, mousseline dresses, and of course, trains.

Elie Saab Fall 2017 Couture. Indigital

Elie Saab Fall 2017 Couture. Indigital

The show notes read “…fallen kings, defeated by a fearless and heroic sisterhood… bright and brave warrior queens they were, are, and forever will be.” It’s something of an incoherent metaphor, considering that these are dresses that one will wear to celebrate the alliance between men and women – otherwise known as the biggest event in an Arab woman’s life: the wedding.

Regardless, the spirit of sisterhood is certainly alive and well and very much a topic of today. It is also one that is defended by the House of Elie Saab off the catwalk via its Girl of Now initiative. This year, the luxury fashion house has partnered with Womena, a regional women’s investment platform led by Elissa Freiha. Together, they encourage women to share stories of successful careers and spread awareness about ambitious and accomplished women. The aim is to inspire girls today, along with supporting talent via mentorship programs.

Elie Saab Fall 2017 Couture. Indigital

Elie Saab Fall 2017 Couture. Indigital

As we exited the show, this reporter couldn’t help but note how beguiling it is to watch how different designers portray their respective visions of a strong woman via clothes. While some (most) pull from men’s wardrobes and dress their heroines in sturdy wool and manly blazers, Saab reaches for the heart and soul of a woman’s femininity and with golden thread, he galvanizes her spirit, and molds it like a crown to be offered to the gods above and revered by us humbles down below.

To mark the couturier’s birthday on July 4, team Vogue Arabia celebrated with a round-up of the best red carpet moments powered by Saab’s designs.

See the full Elie Saab Fall 2017 Couture collection here

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