Elie Saab Couture Spring 2014 Review

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I have been a huge fan of Elie Saab for quite some time and first saw a gown from his collection on the Red Carpet about 5 years ago. Every season seems better than the last. The decadent, rich beading and embroideries always have me thinking “royalty.” His newest collection ranged from beaded lace sheaths to full skirted ombre ball gowns, and once again, Elie Saab left us breathless as models walked down the runway.

Elie1The show opened with gowns in a soft blush color, all intricately detailed with pearls, lace and crystal which gave you a taste of the theme behind the entire show and what might come next.

Elie2Then, Elie transitioned us into a white evening collection; any of which could have easily been slightly tweaked into a modern and spectacular bridal gown. Sleeves, one-shouldered gowns, peplums and his signature skinny belts brought definition and life to each piece.

Elie3Next, gowns in a magnificent and vivid shade of red waltzed down the runway, exuding a kind of sophistication and polish Elie’s always been well known for.  Many of the pieces had a two-toned effect with the use of red crystals and embellishments which harnessed the light in a most lovely way.

Elie4Transitioning from red to a citrine, these silhouettes were given the signature Elie treatment of embroidery, beading and floral details that were unexpected and playful.

Elie5The next color story was told in Hydrangea Blue and Lilac, this time using soft tulle and multiple layers of beading and hand-cut floral details in each gown that took us into a soft and dreamy state of evening looks. Then…

Elie6…I went into anaphylactic shock. Taking a departure from his still gorgeous monochromatic looks, we saw colors starting with black fading into an ombré pattern of blush, violet, lilac, blue and white. These gowns were utter perfection, and when the Oscars are presented this March, I fully expect SOMEONE (Sandra Bullock, are you listening?) to don one of these superbly craft gowns on the red carpet.

Elie7Continuing with his ombre´ scheme, we were given black fading into grey and then white. Any of these magnificent creations would make for a stellar awards show gown.

Elie8These ombre´ chiffon gowns literally floated down the runway. The photos truly don’t do these gowns the justice they deserve. (another anaphylactic shock moment for me)

Elie9Staying true to an Elie Saab tradition, he ended the runway show with a spectacular veiled bridal ball gown and was the perfect finish to an overall breathtaking collection. By far, Elie delivered one of his most sensational collections.  It was perhaps, also one of his most “out-of-the-box,” presentations.  In essence, this collection was one I was truly most looking forward to seeing and I was left unconscious by the end of it.

{All runway photos courtesy Yannnis Vlamos/Indigitalimages.com for Style.com}

If you’re dying to see these gowns in actual movement, I urge you to stop whatever it is you’re doing, lock yourself in a room and click here:

 

Jim Verraros for Bridal Expo Chicago Luxury

If The Emmy Fits…

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Last night’s Emmy awards had it’s share of hits and misses from fashions to dead jokes, there were obvious winners and losers. Jane Lynch rocked as  a host and was equally as entertaining sans track suit as she is in every single movie or tv show she appears. Charlie Sheen showed to up to promote… duh, winning? I’m not sure why he was there but I will go on a limb to say it was his way of mending fences. Charlie- if you are reading this, “Apologizing only counts if you mean it, so you might want to go back to step 11.” However, I applaud his sobriety and can only imagine how difficult it was to face all the folks you dissed while you were doing a public detox. That’s over now so let’s leave Charlie alone and get on to something really important … fashion!

The biggest problem with last night’s Emmy fashions was not the gowns, or choice of gowns or the color… it was the fit.  

Kate Winslet chose a red Elie Saab gown. In addition to the gown being too tight (note the horizontal wrinkles that appear to give it a waist seam) the shape is suited for less curvy figure. I’m not talking about weight.. this gown did nothing good for her figure.  

Gwenyth Paltrow should have swapped her black widow Emilio Pucci doily for something a little less  Rorschach-inspired. It is true that we each see somthing different in the ink blots (lace cut-outs) and since seeing this last night I have decided not to eat pancakes for a while.

Katie Holmes wore what appeared to be a saggy blue (Calvin Klein) nightgown 2 sizes too big with a tiny belt. It looked like she did her hair on the way to the show, in the back of a car that was moving….. with no mirror.

Juliana Margulies had the absolute worst look of the night. Her hair was styled for a softer look and her Armani Prive gown was a bedazzled tragedy. The cut was ill-conceived and the entire dress did not fit properly. The good news is that if anyone needs to send something fragile I know where you can get some very expensive bubble wrap.

Kerry Washington was breathtaking in red. The gown fit perfectly and the design was unique enough to stand out but no so unusual she had to arrive in an egg. The see-through part of the skirt was sheer perfection! This  Zuhair Murad gown was constructed  flawlessly and fit beautifully, if only her hair had lived up to the rest of the outfit.

……. and the winner is:
Sofia Vergara, in her red Vera Wang gown dominated the red carpet. Not because she has a killer figure – which she does. Not because she exudes confidence – which she also does. Because her gown fit so perfectly that it looked like it was made for her, which it was. The best part – it wasn;t strapless! The sheer one-shouldered look was  so goddess, so glamour, so abosultely perefect!The shame is that all of these people have their gowns custom fit and sewn and that someone, somewhere doesn’t know how to fit a gown properly. Maybe they are so used to pencil thin mannequins they need to go back to design school to understand a real woman’s body.

We will take a look at more hits and misses tomorrow!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

The Oscars 2011 – Best Dressed

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No, it wasn’t just you, the Oscars were little odd this year. It was as if there was a huge inside joke that everyone knew and as everyone waited for the punch line with great anticipation ……. it never came. However, this years fashions did not disappoint. 

 I loved seeing Tim Gunn on the red carpet. This is exactly where he belongs. He asks all the right questions  and he saves the acting talk for the interviewers with bigger chops.  I have been tuning in since I was a small girl merely to see what the stars will be wearing so,  the red carpet is my favorite part of the show!

Penny’s Picks for  best dressed:

Mila Kunis - The biggest shocker of the night for me was how much I loved this Elie Saab couture gown. The only reason so many design elements (lace, ruffles, draped chiffon, blouson top) work on this gown is because it was constructed impeccably, like a work of art. Every fold, every drape, every small lace ruffle is sewn to perfection.  Mila made every one’s top ten list in this designer gown, and the top of my top ten list. Surprised? Me, too!

Natalie Portman – Although I feel she lost it in the accessory department (hello, beaded tassels?), the purple Rodarte gown looked magnificent and comfortable enough for the mom-to-be to carry home a  small statuette and a  bun in the oven. 

Anne Hathaway – Most critics were all over her red Valentino gown, accusing the star of wearing her window treatments, etc. I disagree for two reasons – the fit was perfect and it was pure Valentino couture.  In addition, each and every gown that she wore during her multiple costume changes was A+ with the exception of the midnight blue Versace. I thought it fell flat.

Gyyneth Paltrow – Again, I disagree with most critics. Her gown was sleek, cool and totally retro. She was not nominated and was there to look good. She did!

Sharon Stone - Carried off  the Black Swan theme to perfection in this one-shouldered Christian Dior gown, regardless off how the critics slammed her smoky eyes. I thought she looked magnificent for a woman of any age.

Jennifer Hudson -Was a vision in Versace. The tangerine color looked marvelous with her skintone and the fit was unbelievable. The side drape and fitted bodice showed off her stunning slim physique.  In all fairness, she was stunning when she won her own Oscar and was much heavier. *Memo to her stylist - “make sure the cleavage is the same color as the chest.”

Mandy Moore – Her Monique Lhullier gown was breathtaking. The fit and the detail  of this champagne/nude gown reminds us that this little girl is all grown up and also that Monique Lhullier can do no wrong. Her bridal gowns are equally as impressive.

Hailee Stanfield - Also wow’d the crowd in her champagne/ nude creation by Marchesa. She opted for a fuller, ballerina-length skirt which is extremely flattering and appropriate for a young woman at the age of 14.

Sandra Bullock – America’s sweetheart proves once again that she can  look red hot on the red carpet with this  amazing red Vera Wang gown. But, we already knew that. Her makeup and accessories were  toned down leading me to believe that she and her stylist agreed -when you look this good in this gown, you don’t need any extra help.

 Hilary Swank – This Gucci Premiere couture gown is pure Hollywood glamour. Hand sewn crystals,  ostrich feathers – who knew this much detail could be so sexy?  Grey is not an easy color to wear but,  Ms. Swank pulls it off effortlessly.

Celine Dion – She had twins? In this simple, fitted Armani Prive gown it is hard to imagine she has given birth to one child, much less three.  The slim fitting gown had an absolutely perfect fit for her, the horizontal darts accentuated her toned physique and the only detail on the gown (other than the silk shantung fabric) was a small band that seemed to help the gown curve perfectly over her bust-line.  Was it just me or did this necklace remind anyone else of the gargantuan blue diamond stunner she wore when she sang the theme from Titanic?

Tune in tomorrow for my picks for the Worst Dressed at the 2011 Oscars. In the mean time, you can click  on this link  to view Bridal Expo’s very own red carpet couture runway show!  http://www.bridalshowexpo.com/fos_video_bride.html?PHPSESSID=c2893cac5707631701337f218a200fd2

 - Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago