Elie Saab showcases new ready-to-wear collection in hills of Mount Lebanon: 'It’s a celebration of life'

The Lebanese designer presented a short film highlighting the pieces at Paris Fashion Week

The past few months have been blighted by devastation and loss for those in Lebanon, but Elie Saab is looking towards the future.

The famed couturier, whose home was destroyed in the August 4 Beirut port blast, has unveiled his latest collection in a short film he describes as a "celebration of life".

Shot in the hills of Mount Lebanon, the film features models showcasing the label's ready-to-wear spring / summer 2021 pieces, against the dramatic landscape.

In lieu of a catwalk show, the video debuted as part of Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday, September 30.

Saab, whose Beirut atelier was also damaged in the explosion, described the aesthetic of the collection as "more fancy-relaxed and cool clothes than high-heels".

"It's a very critical period now," he told WWD. "The atmosphere is very heavy and we have a lot of problems as a country. But Lebanese people always find time to be happy and celebrate life."

The collection, entitled Hymne a la Vie (Ode to Life), is laced with ethereal femininity, perfectly juxtaposed against Mount Lebanon's raw nature in the five-minute video.

A palette of bougainvillea pink, zingy green and effervescent yellow lies alongside smatterings of crisp whites, signifying a blend of both rebirth and upbeat optimism.

From feather-trimmed bodices and gossamer-thin lace to feather-light embroidery, each piece possesses a lightness that belies the stresses of the past few months at Saab's Beirut atelier.

"We're managing," the couturier told WWD, adding that the recent birth of his granddaughter, Sophia, had helped lift his spirits. Elie Saab Jr and his wife, Christina Mourad, welcomed their first child this month.

“I’m so happy about that,” said the designer. “She’s so beautiful.”