Elie Saab’s haute couture collection for spring/summer 2016 was influenced by Lilah Wingfield, a 23-year-old Anglo-Irish aristocrat and a beauty who travelled to India in 1911. She attended the Delhi Durbar which was established to proclaim King George V and Queen Mary as Emperor and Empress of India and took a series of photographs to document the event. Elie Saab was inspired by her historic journey and created a range of elegant dresses which referenced her holiday wardrobe, but also the style of British monarchs and colonial India. It is an exciting blend of Edwardian and Victorian fashion with a strong flavour of the traditional culture of India which is why each piece had to be so flamboyant.
Embellished styles feature draped fabrics that resemble Indian saris, Edwardian-style crochet detailing, Victorian belts, long tassels, and these heterogeneous elements are cleverly combined together to create stunning gowns with a distinctly modern feel. From short, cocktail-style frocks and bohemian lace dresses to the most elaborate A-line gowns, almost every look can be translated into a bridal outfit.
The colour palette ranges from bridal ivories and silver shades to soft lilac hues and deep blues. Some of the finest evening gowns which can double as wedding dresses included a five-tier lace number in ivory with long sleeves and a train, as well as a white tulle frock with a full skirt and a bejewelled bodice. And there is, of course, a magnificent gown with a dramatic train and matching veil that closed the show which was definitely one of our favourites!
Just like every Elie Saab haute couture collection, this one has plenty of embellishments. The gowns were accessorised with fabulous bejewelled headpieces, statement earrings, big necklaces and chunky bracelets. The hair was worn loose while the make-up was subtle with pink cheeks, natural lips and dark eye shadow around the eyes.
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