IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Saab stays static, the way his clients like it

What would the red carpet be without Elie Saab?
/ Source: The Associated Press

What would the red carpet be without Elie Saab?

The Lebanese designer is such a reliable purveyor of the dramatic, va-va-voom gowns that — with their curve-hugging shapes and generous sprinkling of sequins — are the bread and butter of black tie events, it's become nearly impossible to imagine one without him.

Critics lambast Saab as boring, saying his work remains static. That's true in a way. But it's also beside the point, as Saab never claimed to be fashion-forward.

He's successful because his gowns tap a wellspring of timeless, classic glamour that makes women feel beautiful and sexy. Celebrities and civilians alike choose Saab for when they need to look like a million dollars — simply because he does make them look like a million dollars season after season.

The same cannot be said, however, for other more fashion-forward labels.

So it was no surprise that for Wednesday's spring-summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection in Paris, Saab stuck to staples like belted sheath dresses for day and sequin-covered gowns with long fluttering skirts for the evening.

All that changed was the color palette: mustardy yellow, or a vibrant emerald that looked like it was straight out of Oz or a rich shade halfway between aubergine and midnight blue.

The colors were beautiful and so were the dresses.

Unsurprisingly, there were no surprises from Saab, and that's exactly the way his clients like it.