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Look closer at the shimmering, sheer gowns gliding down the runway, and you’ll spot a glistening palm tree that you almost mistook as a simple texture, or boats dancing on the blue waves of the Nile River.

The Elie Saab Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2017 collection is “inspired by an Arab epoch that left us with a priceless cultural and artistic heritage,” according to the designer’s Instagram account, @eliesaabworld. “Enjoying an atmosphere of stability and freedom in the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt turned into a hub of creative talent allowing Arabic culture to flourish.”

The colors range from a warm beige to sky blue to navy, with accents of crystal and gold, keeping in line with the majestic theme. Think sand, sky, water, warmth, royalty. And like the scenes the collection is inspired by, each look is perfectly cohesive, and the colors blend from one design to the next as the models take their turn on the catwalk.

Elegance is a word that can’t be avoided when describing Elie Saab’s haute couture. Delicate fabrics, princess-like silhouettes, old-Hollywood glamour. It’s no secret Saab loves to celebrate the beauty of women, but not without also expressing their power. Despite the softness and femininity of this collection, there is not a lack of strength. The patterns are bold, the slits are high, the styles accentuate and empower.

With feathered cuffs at the wrist and a belt synching the waist (in signature Elie Saab style), one dress is elaborately embroidered with crystals inspired by the popular Arabic cinemas. Nearly all of the 57 looks in this collection sparkle, a touch that will surely make a fabulous effect at the galas and red carpets where these dresses will be worn.

But Saab is making a point: he’s evoking an era that shines in his, and many of our, memories. And don’t our fondest memories have a warm glow and magical sparkle, too?


See the full collection here.

Photos by Marcus Tondo / Indigital.tv via Vogue.com