Elie Saab went in a bold new direction for Spring—straight into Balmain territory. Five looks in, there it was: a black nipped-waist jacket with a modified, slightly less intense take on Christophe Decarnin's tennis-ball shoulder. The latter designer's sexy, take-no-prisoners vibe could also be seen in the zigzagging crystal embroideries of a one-shoulder dress.

The Balmain effect is so widespread at this point that it might seem mean-spirited to bring it up, but it was a hard-to-ignore departure for the Lebanese designer known as the go-to guy for Hollywood awards shows. Still, Saab didn't leave the celebrity-pleasing dresses completely out of the equation. For Spring, his draped and ruched glamour gowns were shown in pool blue and cherry red. The collection's most pleasant surprises were a narrow sheath and a column gown in a digital print that combined those colors with yellow and black. They were striking, and felt more original.