This Elie Saab Couture Gown Has 20,000 Hand-Placed Embellishments

Fans of the new Wonder Woman will find a lot to love in Elie Saab’s latest couture collection, which billed the models as “warrior queens” and featured gold headbands similar to the one Gal Gadot (and the original cartoon heroine) wears. “I have always placed women at the center of my creations, but for this collection, I wanted to show a fearless, yet feminine woman, and accentuate the strength and power that arise beyond her appearance,” Saab explained via email. Fearless is certainly a quality every woman wants right now.

There were lots of medieval velvet, gold filigree, and fur stoles in this collection, but Look 48 was powerful in a softer way. Saab juxtaposed the simple, long-sleeved silhouette with super-feminine extras—bows! pink sequins! glass beads!—and the finished gown was covered in nearly 20,000 embellishments. That required a level of skill and commitment you’ll only find in haute couture: Saab’s atelier in Beirut reported that 13 people were involved in the making of the dress—eight embroiderers, three seamstresses, one pattern maker, and the head of the atelier—and it took more than 500 hours to finish. It’s comprised of 8,000 sequins; 1,000 pearls; 10,000 tubes; and 1,000 stones, and while it took three months to create the dress from start to finish, three weeks were spent on the embroideries alone.

Fans of the new Wonder Woman will find a lot to love in Elie Saab’s latest couture collection, which billed the models as “warrior queens” and featured gold headbands similar to the one Gal Gadot (and the original cartoon heroine) wears. “I have always placed women at the center of my creations, but for this collection, I wanted to show a fearless, yet feminine woman, and accentuate the strength and power that arise beyond her appearance,” Saab explained via email. Fearless is certainly a quality every woman wants right now.

There were lots of medieval velvet, gold filigree, and fur stoles in this collection, but Look 48 was powerful in a softer way. Saab juxtaposed the simple, long-sleeved silhouette with super-feminine extras—bows! pink sequins! glass beads!—and the finished gown was covered in nearly 20,000 embellishments. That required a level of skill and commitment you’ll only find in haute couture: Saab’s atelier in Beirut reported that 13 people were involved in the making of the dress—eight embroiderers, three seamstresses, one pattern maker, and the head of the atelier—and it took more than 500 hours to finish. It’s comprised of 8,000 sequins; 1,000 pearls; 10,000 tubes; and 1,000 stones, and while it took three months to create the dress from start to finish, three weeks were spent on the embroideries alone.

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