Elie Saab at Paris Fashion Week
Official Runway Photos
Elie Saab was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on July 4th 1964. He was only six years old, when he first showed signs of his future flair, designing clothes while other children played. His parents thought he might become a tailor.
In 1981 he went to Paris, intending to study fashion, but was impatient to get started on making clothes. So he returned to Beirut and set up his own workshop in 1982.
His atelier started right from the beginning to make evening gowns and wedding dresses. His clothes were a mixture of Oriental and Western styles.
During the 1980’s, his collections attracted many clients, including Princesses and his reputation built up.
His signature style of making garments using rich fabrics, lace, detailed embroidery, pearls, crystals and silk threads, put Saab in a league of his own.
By 1986 orders were pouring in and jet setters and high rollers were after his creations. During the 1990’s, he took a bigger atelier and started fulfilling orders from Paris and Switzerland.
In 1997 Saab was the first non-Italian designer to become a member of the Italian Camera Nazionale della Moda, and so in 1997, Elie showed his first collection outside Lebanon, which was in Rome.
In 1998, he started ready-to-wear in Milan. In the same year, he held his fashion show in Monaco, attended by Princess Stephanie.
His evening gowns are very renowned for their elegance. He always shows at least ten wedding gowns with every collection. Nowadays, he dresses many Hollywood film stars and attractive American women.
He became particularly well-known in early 2002, when Halle Berry wore his red gown to receive her Oscar Award. She was the first black woman recipient of an Oscar, and Saab was the first Lebanese designer to dress an Oscar winner.
In May 2003, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture invited him to become a member, and he showed his first haute couture collection in Paris in July 2003. His first ready-to-wear collection in Paris was the Spring-Summer 2006 collection, and Paris is now his permanent ready-to-wear runway.
Saab has his headquarters in Beirut, with offices in New York and Paris. His ready-to-wear line is made in Italy. He has 60 retail outlets all over the world, 18 of them in the United States.
He is now preparing to move into his own new multi-story building in the Beirut Central District, which should be completed soon.
Saab’s collections are glamorous and sophisticated, fusing a cultural myriad of fashion influences to give a distinctive and modern edge to his designs. He experiments with the central themes of femininity and romanticism, creating clothing that is cut-to-the-curve, with soft edges and exquisite detail including hand embroidery, beading and the use of luxurious fabrics such as mousseline and silk.
Paris Fashion Week
The Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode was founded in 1973.
The association began as the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, which dates to 1868. The Fédération’s headquarters have been located at 100 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, Paris 8e, since 1935.
The Fédération is the executive body for each of the specific Chambres Syndicales, or industry-specific associations, which constitute its membership. Elected president Didier Grumbach runs it. Mr. Grumbach, entrusted with the industry’s confidence, works to define and implement measures that will help the French fashion industry grow.
The Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode
This association, created in 1973, is presided over by Ralph Toledano (JeanPaul Gaultier). It is made up of Haute Couture houses and fashion designers who produce women’s ready-to-wear.
A unique quality of the The Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode is that its membership includes non-French companies from countries including Japan, Italy, Belgium, etc.
This mix reflects the growing globalization of fashion.
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