Ah, just think of all this wonderful Spring red carpets: The Emmy’s, the Tony’s, the Oscars! Elie Saab has a beautiful gown for everyone of the big (and little) Spring awards shows, each one more lovely than the next. From sequins to transparent lace to dramatic color gradients, the red carpet looks just keep coming and coming and coming and …

What’s that? You don’t need 27 different red carpet gowns next Spring? What’s wrong with you? Don’t you need a train to your dress as you’re wandering the aisles of the grocery store? Surely you want something black and lacy when you take the kids to the playground, right? No? Well …

As lovely as Elie Saab is, he kinda went overboard on the gowns this season. Granted, he does sell a lot of looks for the red carpet and his list of celebrity clients continues to grow. Royalty wears these gowns, you know. So it’s only right that he have a lot of red carpet looks at the ready. Still, there were too many times this afternoon when it felt more like we were watching a couture show instead of ready-to-wear. What’s a girl to wear when the floor under her is something other than a low shag pile?

Saab hasn’t left daywear totally out of the collection. In fact, he held the gowns to a minimum for the first several looks. There was a lovely print with stripes that had a mermaid tail just the right length. There is a powder blue shorts jumper with lace insets that just screams cute. Jumpers also come full length in white and one very lacy black that may never let one out of the bedroom. As we get deeper into the collection, the daywear looks, when you can find one, are all monochrome. He does add some sequins to one black tea dress, but other than that there is a surprising lack of embellishment, which is odd for a Saab collection.

Red carpet looks dominate heavily, though, even in shorter length dresses. Lace insets are fun and sequins are sparkly and maybe if these looks accounted for only half the collection I wouldn’t complain quite so much. Unfortunately, they consider a good two-thirds of the looks.  We all understand that the formal looks make the house a lot of money, but it would be nice if he would at least pretend to be remotely interested in daywear.

While Elie Saab’s gowns are desirable, there’s a disturbing absence of practicality in this collection that I’m not accustomed to seeing to this degree. We would have loved to see more of the wonderful prints from the first four looks. More variations in day wear dresses would have been lovely. At the end of the show, the response from the audience was polite, but noticeably quieter than normal. Not everyone needs a red carpet gown, Elie, and no one needs that many.

Photo credit: Regis Colin Berthelier

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