It was hard to stifle an eye roll when Elie Saab's smoke machine hissed awake at the start of his show today. After four solid weeks of shows, the fashion crowd is over stunts. The good news is, once the smoke cleared, Saab's runway was gimmick free. He's got his formula and he sticks to it. Strictly Decorative, he called the show, but that applied mostly to his daywear, which had a somewhat regimental feel in navy and black. There was sleek tailoring in crepe satin, and a few take-no-prisoners sheaths with waist-accentuating peplums topped by fitted jackets. A sweeter pinafore dress with a full skirt looked out of place among all that rigor.

For evening, Saab softened things up, adding colors like teal blue, violet, and chartreuse yellow to his lineup of white and black, and, as is his custom, laying on the sequins and beads. Picking up where his couture collection left off, he experimented with sheer tulle insets and peekaboo laces, which meant that while the silhouettes were modest, the results were still quite suggestive. Among the finer pieces was a demure cocktail dress in black lace with varying degrees of transparency, and a full-skirted black gown with an embroidered lace bodice and sleeves.