The Elie Saab show started on a promising note. First he switched up the mise-en-scène, trading in the nightclub-y mirrored runway for a plain, white-planked version more befitting the early hour. Second and more importantly, he put a big emphasis on daywear, specifically forties-esque sheaths in powder gray with topstitching that sculpted ladylike curves into the models' waifish frames. His high-waisted skinny black pants and little bolero jackets with fur and feather detailing were glam, but in a lower key than he usually operates in.

That clarity of vision faltered a bit when it came to after-dark dressing. Saab has several different markets to satisfy—Hollywood, the Middle East (he's a native of Lebanon), and fashion land—and he trotted out something for each constituency. In order: red-carpet-tested goddess gowns; structured bustier dresses, including a vivid purple number with a single long sleeve; and black crystal-embroidered minidresses and leggings that were almost rock 'n' roll. The evening section could've been cut in half, but even if this show didn't end as strongly as it began, it was still something of a happy surprise from Saab.