When I heard Elie Saab was launching a bag line, I naturally assumed it would consist of evening bags: intricately beaded minaudieres and delicate satin clutches to go with the house’s gorgeous gowns. As the opening runway looks emerged from the murky cloud of a smoke machine, I was pleasantly surprised to behold a different breed of bag. Not only day bags, but really great ones at that – with nary a bead or crystal in sight. They are all clean lines, with sharp panels and seams for a tailored feel, and smart straps (though it’s still de rigeur to bunch up the straps and carry your shoulder bag as a clutch, at least on the catwalk).
This is the Saab woman, modernized. Worn with unfussy daywear – like crêpe-satin jumpsuits and super-elegant smoking jackets – the bags are a home run. Menswear-inspired detailing is great juxtaposed against transparency, which Saab toyed with via sheer blouses and billowing skirts. The evening looks inspired by screen sirens of yesterday – the lace and embroidery and beading we all know, love, and expect from the designer. But it’s the fresh elements that thrill me: I love a good surprise!