Elie Saab shares his vision of Beirut, a place that continues to inspire his work for his SS2015 Haute Couture collection. "When I sit back and reflect on my journey, I’m always transported to the city where I was born, somewhere between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains. Back then, Beirut seemed to be constantly adorned for a party that would never end. I was instantly enthralled by beauty and wanted to ensure it remained untainted.
As a child in the 60’s, I pranced around medlar and laurel trees, playing beneath the purple billows of the jacarandas. The oak and olive trees sprawled around this runway are vivid resurgences of the gardens of my past. These memories still inspire my colours and my scents. The ethereal fabric of this collection embodies my childhood’s summer breeze. Just like the soft green of my blooming springs, the pale blue of the misty horizon, the yellow of the mimosas, the brown of the damp soil. Flash forward to the 70’s, women in ankle length dresses, trapeze dresses, high waist skirts , embroidered and sheer tops wading through downtown.
To this day, I’m still enchanted by a clear vision: my mother in an evening gown. Curved at the waist. Flared like a corolla. Tulips printed on silk. A vision that fuelled my flare as a designer. And with every new collection I conceived, the striking image of my mother in this tulip print silk dress reappeared endlessly. I want to pay homage to the people of this city who never stopped dreaming, who never stopped believing. With this collection, I too have wished to celebrate Beirut. I hope it brings you its loving spirit, its elegance, its douceur de vivre. As couture is inseparable from beauty, beauty is inseparable from eternity. And if there were to be a message behind my couture collection, it would be" - Elie Saab.