In Constantinople's Wake was the name Elie Saab gave his show. The Byzantine Empire proved fertile territory for the designer. This was one of his prettiest shows to date, focused, as is his custom at Couture, almost entirely on cocktail dresses and evening gowns, and remarkably light despite the resplendence of all its thousands of beads, sequins, and crystals. It helped that he chose such delicate fabrics—Chantilly lace, silk jacquards that looked gold leafed, and a mosaic-print georgette—and that he used such soft shades of pink and blue. In the past, Saab's colors have appeared dull or muddy. Not here, although a vivid jade felt garish in comparison to the sun-washed pastels.

He opened with a caftan shape in embroidered black tulle. The silhouette looked novel for him, but he mostly stuck to his Oscar-winning formula of red-carpet frocks. His talents don't lie as much in patternmaking (the cuts are quite simple and repetitive) as they do in his way with embellishments: where he insets lace or stitches paillettes, how low a dress dips in back, how high a slit rises on the thigh. A sky blue silk crepe dress with gold guipure lace scrolling down one arm and side was particularly lovely. It'll be a lucky actress who gets to wear it first.