Saabsolute style

ELIE SAAB provided some welcome high octane Hollywood glamour with his haute couture collection for next winter on Wednesday, every item on the runway fit for a silver screen goddess.

Plunging necklines and bare backs reigned supreme, with every possible variation in between, whether shrugged off-the-shoulder, gently draped across the cleavage, or criss-crossed behind with spaghetti straps.

Saab whipped up lashings of lurex, lame, frothy tulle and floating silk chiffon into show-stopping gowns, encrusted with sequins and strass to catch in the strobe lights - all in a monochrome palette of black, anchracite grey and liquid silver.

Highpoints were column dresses with drapery like Greek goddesses, bodices festooned with 1920s flapper beaded fringes, and kimono evening jackets in metallic finish shantung.

Saab showed why he has in recent years become one of the favourite designers of Queen Rania of Jordan and red-carpet celebrities Beyonce Knowles and Halle Berry.

French actresses in the front row applauded as models wore a ballroom grown made of a sleeveless silver lame top broadening below the chest into several layers of grey muslin, or a long satin cloak with sleeves hemmed with silver fox.

The 43-year-old designer has become a household name in the world of haute couture, selling hundreds of his embroidered evening dresses at up to $375,000 apiece - and sometimes a staggering $2 million for an emerald encrusted wedding gown ordered by a Qatari princess.

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