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Elie Saab: ‘Halle Berry is the reason my brand took off’

OHMYGOSSIP — Elie Saab credits Halle Berry for the popularity of his eponymous line.
The 55-year-old designer has praised the 52-year-old actress for helping his couture range take off after she stepped out in a custom floor-length red gown by the fashion guru at the 2002 Oscars – at which she become the first woman of colour to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in ‘Monster’s Ball’ – and launched him onto the international stage.
Opening up about the huge fashion moment, the designer said: “Halle Berry made the name Elie Saab more popular… She managed to really put the name Elie Saab on the international market.
“[That time] was a better time for cinema in general. [Halle Berry] was the first woman of colour [to receive the Oscar award for Best Actress in 2001]…
“It was elegant and daring and chic. I think this moment was a very exceptional moment for cinema.”
The Lebanon-born designer also cited Queen Rania of Jordan as an inspiration to him.
He told Vogue Australia: “Queen Rania is a woman who presents the women of our region. [She is] very pretty and very chic… worldwide. She has given women in the region an attitude that is very valuable.”
Saab works differently to other couturiers because he doesn’t believe in sketching, and instead likes to build a garment from scratch and watch it “grow”.
He added: “I work differently [to other designers]. I don’t believe much in the sketch. I like to see the dress grow little by little in front of me. I’m moulding, I’m removing, I’m putting on… [That’s how] I figure it out…
“Every inch of a woman’s body is very important, and [details as small as] two centimetres or a centimetre on a haute couture dress can make a lot of difference.”
The designer believes the Elie Saab woman has a “feminine” style that isn’t too “flashy”.
He continued: “It is a very feminine style, it’s a style that’s balanced. [We achieve] the right balance because it’s not obvious that we make dresses with enough embroidery and enough work to not to disturb the eye. It’s not too flashy… When you work a lot, things [become overworked], you always have to look at things, swing things around to get the best [balance].”

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