This season, Elie Saab sought design inspiration from the luminescent, whimsically irregular, and rigorously aspirational masterworks of Gaudí. This added a chic verticality to the embroideries, whether on a halter-neck ball gown or on an ornate, vaguely matador-esque tuxedo jacket.
There is a shawl-collared brocade coat, cut like a slim bathrobe, which is encrusted with gold and colored beads in Gaudí-ish formations, and paired with a matching mini sheath. The ensemble nods to rock ’n’ roll and royalty, and could cut a swath in either world. And there are a series of evening dresses, mostly in rich gem tones (emerald, amethyst, garnet), but also in a gray-and-white Gaudí-like shadow print, for which sculptural ruffles take the place of any other form of ornamentation. The best of these are in silk chiffon—flattering, fluttery, unapologetically feminine.