Paris Couture Week: Elie Saab Says "Ole," Viktor & Rolf Say "Remember When?"

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Saab's collection had Spanish vibes, while the Dutch duo re-created past looks.

On the last day of Paris Couture week, Elie Saab took inspiration from the architecture of Barcelona, while Viktor & Rolf dug into the archives for a retrospective of sorts to celebrate the brand's 25th anniversary.

Elie Saab's Spanish Vibes

Elie Saab's latest collection was a bit Gaudi, as in taking inspiration from the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The most stunning result was a dramatic sleeve design, extending from a corset on the body to envelop the arm in a lattice-like structure, which called to mind the shapes on the face of the famous Catalan cathedral. That Gothic edge was evoked again in the finale wedding dress, with the bride in a magnificent mantilla that extended into a cape.

Saab's strength is intricate embroidery and beading, which is what has made him a red carpet staple for decades, and here many of the gowns were shapes and styles that he is familiar with. The structured sleeve was a welcome new element for the designer, and it worked better than the floral appliques on other dresses. It echoed throughout the collection in broader shoulders. He's also a master of monochrome, usually showing a succession of single-color gowns throughout a show, but here he mixed it up with sequins over hand-painted fabric to fabulous effect.

Guests sang along to the classic Spanish song "Piensa en Mi" under the soaring ceilings of the Musee des Arts et Decoratifs, which gave the early afternoon show a open, airy feel. 

A Viktor & Rolf Retrospective

Talk about theatrical. Viktor & Rolf played their greatest hits in a Pigalle theater, with models taking the stage behind a dramatic red velvet curtain. The Dutch duo, who have been responsible for some avant-garde creations over the years, re-created pieces from past collections but this time all were in ethereal white.

The pieces included the pillow dress from 2015, the "NO" coat from 2008, the cutout ball gowns from 2010, and surrealist face dress from 2016. Models walked in a sea of fog and against a wall of lights, for a stunning presentation. It was a parade of their work from the last 25 years, and truly performance art.

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