Here's a sample sequence from Elie Saab's show: plum crepe belted slim dress, plum crepe belted dress with A-line skirt, plum crepe A-line dress with inverted pleat. The Lebanese designer makes perfectly fine clothes, but his insistence on turning his runway presentation into a catalog shoot dilutes his message. If Miuccia Prada doesn't need 50 looks to make her point, then there's no way Saab should.

This season, his message is Parisian, specifically Belle de Jour. The designer doesn't do retro, so there was only a faint whiff of the sixties, a decade that has proved so popular elsewhere. Black and buff predominated, but there was also gray, dark red, and an abstract multicolor print, and the silhouette was close to the body. Saab worked his way through all sorts of dresses in each of those colors; still the evening gowns are what celebrity stylists will be paying attention to. They didn't have much to do with Buñuel and Deneuve, but Karlie Kloss' buff sleeveless number and Anja Rubik's long-sleeve black sparkler were the hits here.