Elie Saab Couture Spring 2020

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If your life is the stuff of fairy tales or legends, the Lebanese couturier offered the perfect wardrobe, inspired by a Mexican castle.

A weekend away usually spells casual clothes and lazy Sundays, but for the Elie Saab woman, it comes with a regal setting and glittering couture choices. Imagining an invitation to one-time imperial residence Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City, the couturier sent out a lineup that was a collage of elements lifted during a walk through the opulent interiors, manicured gardens and the nature around it.

Leg-of-mutton sleeves felt like a nod to the castle’s heyday as the seat of the Second Mexican Empire in the mid-1860s. Geometric netting nodded to the structure of stained glass windows. Embroideries evoked coats of arms.

There were gilded neoclassical curlicues climbing along the neckline of one dress, and their shape also informing the curves of hemlines. Everything felt gilded in sequins, crystals and gold thread galore.

Silhouettes took a turn for the fantastic, figuring women as latter-day nymphs, flowers climbing on their bodies and sequins slicked at strategic points like patches of sunlight. Monochromatic looks, some in matte fabrics, felt like palate cleansers — a bit of shade against the unrelenting shine.