Bio & Info Fashion Designers

Elie Saab: Taking Luxury To Its Zenith

DALLAS, May 27, 2003 (Updated Jul 9, 2009)/ FW/ — He is known as the designer who dressed Halle Berry when she accepted her Oscar. And though his prêt-a porter collection, (available at Neiman Marcus), has experienced great success, he has remained a mystery to a large group of fashionistas.
Elie Saab on the runway Fall 2004 Paris

Elie Saab on the runway Fall 2004 Paris

Yet, the 39-year old Lebanon native had attired the royals, dressing the stylish and elegant Queen Rania of Jordan, Middle Eastern princesses, and a certain elusive bride who ordered his 2 million dollar dress – a classically styled gown with 2000 karats of emeralds and 400 carats of diamonds.
He is also a Hollywood favorite. His lavish, sophisticated couture creations have been the red-carpet attire of everyone fromBridget Fonda, Calista Flockhart, Rebecca Romijin-Stamos, Mena Suvari, Ashley Judd and of course Halle Berry.
Elie Saab is a fashion child prodigy. In 1982, when he was 18, he opened his first atelier in Lebanon.
His debut collection dazzled the Lebanese press, and Elie Saab got the nickname, “precocious genius.” Since then, he has enjoyed a large following in the Middle East.
After spending more than a dozen years to build up his business, in the late 1990s, the designer decided that it was time to expand. After moving in a larger atelier in Beirut, he started to show his collection in Europe.
In 1997, he debuted at Alta Moda in Rome, showing haute couture.
The next year, he launched his ready-to-wear collection in Milan and was the only non-Italian designer at that time.
When the 2000’s arrived, he started showing in Paris during the Haute Couture season, as an ‘off-list’ (meaning, not in the official calendar) show.
Last May 12, 2003, under the sponsorship of Hanae Mori, Elie Saab became part of the official list of Haute Couture members as an invitee.
Considering that that the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture has very stringent rules when accepting new members, being invited by the Federation is an honor and a mark of excellence for a designer.
Known for his elegant, dreamlike and seductive creations, Elie Saab seamlessly meld European trends with Middle Eastern inspiration.
With his ability to articulate the beautiful, this unique cultural fusion makes his creations very distinctive, modern and international.
Experimenting with the central themes of femininity and romanticism, he creates clothing that is cut-to-the-curve, with soft edges and ornate details such as beading, crystals, lace, and embroidery.
And with plans to increase his worldwide retail presence, with stores in New York, London and Paris, don’t be surprised if Elie Saab becomes a household word soon.
[MARI DAVIS]
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