Elie Saab’s spring couture in Paris dreams of Thai escape

Jan 24, 2023, 7:01 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2023, 3:32 pm

PARIS (AP) — Elie Saab whisked his guests away to Thailand for a Paris Fashion Week couture show Wednesday that gleamed with gold and intricate silk embroidery.

Sheer diaphanous cloth floated around the runway in Le Marais’ Carreau du Temple amid wafting perfume, as “Emily in Paris” star Paul Forman and socialite Olivia Palermo posed for the cameras.

Haute couture is an artisanal tradition invented by English designer Charles Frederick Worth in the 1870s. It involves intricate, time-consuming sewing, use of unusual fabrics and luxurious embellishments such as rare feathers and semi-precious stone beading — and is exorbitantly priced.

Here are some highlights of Wednesday’s spring-summer 2023 shows:

SAAB’S EMBROIDERIES

Elie Saab called it “an indulgent escape from the ordinary.”

Amid the dull Paris weather, inside blinding lights lit up long dragons gracing asymmetrical bodices, or in waves on ivory peplums. Embroidered motifs of sacred koi fish seemed to swim on mermaid tails and scalloped overskirts, while 3D guipure lace captured Eastern blooms on gowns that shimmered in gold.

This season, the Lebanese designer used the Thai kingdom as a springboard for a highly embellished, yet delicate, couture collection.

The show, entitled “a golden dawn,” had regal ambitions and was executed with flair.

The most beautiful gowns were sometimes deceptively simple, where the sumptuous material — like one blue satin sash rippling asymmetrically across the shoulder — could speak for itself.

YUIMA NAKAZATO

Following a trip to Kenya in October 2022, Yuima Nakazato was shocked by what local people told him about waste and ecological destruction.

The collection’s starting point was to use 150 kilogrdams of used clothing brought back to Japan from Africa and recycle it — thanks to dry fiber technology — into new garments.

This season’s co-ed couture became a manifesto against a desolate African future. The Japanese designer staged a powerful underground show set amid smoke and hazy lighting as if to herald the end of the world.

A loose black one-shoulder gown — on top of baggy pants — fused Asian with African styles with an embellished belt clasp resembling a talismanic eye.

Bone or thorn jewelry adorned minimalist looks like one slope-shouldered column ensemble. It was matched with Rick Owens-style black thigh-high wading boots for a fashion-forward vibe.

VIKTOR & ROLF TURN COUTURE ON ITS HEAD

The inimitable Dutch design duo staged a quirky and surprising show featuring gowns that tried to turn couture on its head — literally.

The collection started regularly enough, aside from the punk-like colored mini-beehive hairstyles. A shoulderless bodice gown shot out into a voluminous pale tulle full skirt fit for a bridesmaid. Later, a sculptured hourglass bodice descended into a segmented skirt that swept the floor.

But then came the surreal fun.

Causing half the audience to reach for their cameras, a model appeared wearing an entire gown attached to her front on top of another look. The dress was placed at a 2 o’clock angle with a cloud-colored tulle full skirt sweeping out theatrically to the left.

Another gown in yellow tulle was then hoisted up in a trompe l’oeil effect. The two exaggerated breast reliefs of the bustier sat less than an inch from the model’s chin.

The most surreal of all was one violet gown whose waist was turned out to become vertical. It was weirdly inventive — if a little gruesome — with a black hole appearing around the midriff.

THE ART OF THE INVITATION

The age of email and rising environmental awareness hasn’t left much of a mark on the fashion industry’s antiquated system of invitations.

Season after season, gasoline-guzzling couriers crisscross Paris to personally deliver ever-elaborate, often handmade, show invites.

Top houses vie for the wackiest or most imaginative idea that often offers a clue to the theme of the runway collection.

Schiaparelli’s was a giant weighty golden brooch featuring a face in relief — ahead of a couture show which drew controversy for featuring a fake lion’s head.

Dior’s was a beautifully packaged white box with a note from Dior Perfume Director Francis Kurkdjian and containing small, perfumed vials.

Then Valentino’s was like an invitation to a disco or concert, on a plain black card with the show details in the font preferred by club organizers. The name of the show? “Le Club Couture.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help.
7 hours ago
This combination of photos shows promotional at for "Princess Power," a series premiering Jan 30, "...
Associated Press

New this week: Shania, ‘Princess Power’ and Pamela Anderson

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music and video game platforms this week. MOVIES — If you haven’t managed to catch “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” yet, the Marvel sequel arrives on Disney+ on Wednesday with a batch of five Oscar nominations to its […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Croatia’s president criticizes tank deliveries to Ukraine

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia’s president on Monday criticized Western nations for supplying Ukraine with heavy tanks and other weapons in its campaign against invading Russian forces, saying those arms deliveries will only prolong the war. Zoran Milanovic told reporters in the Croatian capital that it’s “mad” to believe that Russia can be defeated in […]
1 day ago
A man steers his boat that is used by residents to move around the street flooded with rain water i...
Associated Press

Tropical storm leaves 30 dead, 20 missing in Madagascar

ANTANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — Flooding and landslides caused by the passage of tropical storm Cheneso across Madagascar caused 30 deaths, left 20 people missing and affected tens of thousands across the Indian Ocean island nation, according to a provisional assessment Monday. The storm made landfall in the northeast of the island last Thursday and impacted […]
1 day ago
FILE - Trevor Noah appears at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021. Noah ...
Associated Press

Trevor Noah returns as Grammy host with comfort, nervousness

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trevor Noah feels more comfortable hosting the Grammy Awards for a third-straight year, but the former “The Daily Show” host still has some nervousness about leading the ceremony with big-time acts like Beyoncé, Adele and Harry Styles looking on. “The nerves come in because you’re standing in front of not just […]
1 day ago
In this photo courtesy of Melanie Rolo Gonzalez, she takes a selfie with her sister, Merlyn, in the...
Associated Press

2 Cuban sisters’ 4,200-mile journey to the US and a new life

HAVANA (AP) — The Rolo González sisters walked out of Nicaragua’s main airport and peered out onto a sea of young men. The Central American “coyotes” squinted back, trying to find the people they would smuggle to the United States. These were the first steps that 19-year-old Merlyn and 24-year-old Melanie took outside of Cuba. […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Elie Saab’s spring couture in Paris dreams of Thai escape