The first thing that jumps out in the Elie Saab haute couture SS22 collection is the appearance of new, oversized volumes, gigantic bows, shoulders, petticoats, capes, ruffles, applications of floral motifs, Art Deco fringes and glittering embroidery along with showers of feathers, petals or tulle in tight bouquets and sculptural pleats. Everything seems to emerge from the dream of a Mediterranean midsummer night, stolen from a wild garden overrun by bougainvillea, borrowed from the caryatids of a forgotten temple, or plunged into a calm sea to from which it steals its colors. In homage to his native Mediterranean Sea, the couturier has deployed spectacular effects in anticipation of a post-pandemic season which should, this time, keep its promise.

Eden on Earth

Elie Saabs Haute Couture Spring/Summer 22 collection is an ode to the Mediterranean, a landscape that has seen a never-ending evolution of beauty, heritage, and charm; a landscape that has always provided simple solace and joy to the designer, who finds it a trove of inspiration and vision of unfailing abundance. With its wild bougainvillea that bloom and  climb and its deep blue sea that glistens as it flirts with luminous rays of a golden sun, this idyllic, picturesque setting is a taste of Eden on Earth.

Each gown is an intricate world of its own, an assemblage informed by different places, flavors and forms and inspired by the many histories, cultures and terrains that live together in this wonderland of pulsating plenty.

A bright spectrum of colors splash across a panorama of silhouettes that take us on a marvelous journey. Gradients of capacious feathered ball gowns capture the magic of the in-between moments of dusk and dawn, as the sun tints the skyline with celestial blues and sea green. Shimmery sequins and crystals embellish the tulle of the night, guiding our exploration across a vast geography of plunging necklines and mermaid tails. Layers of fuchsia, blush and chartreuse taffeta explode into large off-the-shoulder rose petals and peony bouquets that exaggerate organic, feminine curves.

Each passage of this escapade, through geographies and time, are made unique through generous textures and distinct organic forms. Strong, structured shoulders sit like the colonnades of ancient temples, and plummet into billowing trains of ivory and greige. Sleeves continue into graceful gloves embroidered in a sun-kissed, sparkling sea of aquas; mints usher us forward, while tassels and fringes swish and sway in time to Greek and Roman myths. Threads of silk are braided into intricate patterns that move across the body in geometrical, arabesque-like curves. As the final destination draws near, the divine pearl white bride, wrapped in feathers, floats in on a mist of organza and tulle billowing from below.

This collection is a voyage through an earthly garden of heavenly delight. This terrestrial paradise, Eden on Earth, is a reminder that we are not only always surrounded by divinity, we are created of it.