The inroads Elie Saab has lately made into before-dark dressing came to a full stop today. Not only were all 55 looks he showed golden-huedinspired, he said, by the sun of his native Beirutbut there wasn't a pantsuit in the lot. Even Roberto Cavalli, whose glamazon girls the Lebanese designer seems to have modeled his collection upon, proved this season that he knows the value of a no-nonsense jacket. Saab's, by contrast, were cut with stiff kimono sleeves and cinched with a wide leather belt. And as for bottoms, if cuffed shorts or showgirl panties don't suit you, well, you're out of luck.
Saab's dresses came in two varieties: micro mini and long to the floor. Both gave off a seventies vibe, thanks to batwing and butterfly sleeves, asymmetric one-shoulder bodices, and deep, plunging fronts that had the models worrying their necklines. Metallic sequins were everywhere, arrayed in stripes, chevrons, and polka dots of varying sizes. A few of the simpler pieces, including a sinuous thirties gown, should make it to the red carpet. But why did he insist on showing them with his oversize python and leather bags? If Saab truly wants to grow his business, he should put the brakes on the accessories for now and focus on daywear, and when he does, he'd be wise to go a lot easier on the bling.