Elie Saab Looked to HBO for This Season’s Couture Collection

Gowns suited for an actual princess.

By: Samantha Tse
Photography: Molly SJ Lowe

Game of Thrones may seem like an unlikely source of inspiration for Elie Saab, whose ultra feminine gowns are more akin to fairy-tale princesses than Khaleesi. But on a closer look, both offer a sense of escapism and fantasy. While Mr. Saab’s dresses are hyper feminine, they’re not for the timid. Encrusted in jewels and intricate embroidery, the Lebanese designer is dedicated to craftsmanship. The Elie Saab woman is smart, strong and fearless—not unlike the female characters in Game of Thrones.

Mr. Saab has stayed true to his aesthetics over the years, preferring a feminine yet structured silhouette in rich fabrics like lace, chiffon, silk, tulle and fur with pearl, crystal and embroidered detailing. The fall/winter 2017 collection has stayed true to the DNA of his brand, but this season the collection had a darker romance than in previous seasons. This season, his women were medieval warriors wearing floor-grazing jewel-toned gowns in lush velvets and silks with matching hooded capes, which came down the runway in procession, and lighter tulle dresses featuring strategic gold embroidery. Gold was a running theme in the collection and could be seen in the makeup, which used a combination of rose, white, yellow and copper gold, as well as jeweled circlets in the hair and cuffs adorning wrists.

There is always a sense of regality in Mr. Saab’s collection, and the heavily embellished wedding dress and dramatic train reminds us why royal family members, like Queen Rania of Jordan, one of the world’s most stylish women, remain ardent supporters.

Click through to see details of his gorgeous Couture collection.


“This season’s hair is inspired by Game of Thrones. They’re warrior women,” said lead hairstylist Orlando Pita.

“It’s quite feminine and romantic—waves with braids and sometimes with a little metal piece at the end of the braid.”

“We are playing with different gold tones—copper gold, rose gold, yellow gold and white gold,” explained lead makeup artist Tom Pecheux. “It’s mostly on the eyes. The white gold is placed in the middle of the eyelid and it’s spread into yellow gold, rose gold and copper gold.”

“It’s a bushy eyebrow with black mascara and black rims inside the eyes, because the girls are warriors.”

“They all get some sort of headgear, and that’s what gives them their toughness, because the hair is really feminine,” said Pita.

“The collection is usually very delicate and feminine, but this time it’s a bit stronger and bolder shapes, and that’s why we went with this hair.”

“The lips are a multi-gold gloss, but not too heavy. It’s subtle,” said Pecheux.

“They are the most powerful women in the world. They are like goddess warriors,” said Pecheux.

“Mr. Saab wanted to represent the power of the woman. The most beautiful part of Mr. Saab’s collection is those girls are not mean. They’re powerful. They fight for their femininity, not against anyone,” said Pecheux.