Elie Saab Haute Couture and Diamond Tiaras

Have you ever wondered which tiara would partner best with an haute couture evening gown? As the Fall-Winter collections of 2013-1014 were presented in Paris, I could only envision tiaras with the creations of Elie Saab.

Refined elegance shimmers, as his embroidered chiffon and satin gowns grace the runway in a panoply of colors. Saab’s goal is to relate couture to the modern world. I chose 5 gowns: 2 from last year, 3 from this year, and paired them with a tiara or hair comb. You can pick your favorite in the poll underneath all of the descriptions.

This teal blue gown from 2012 is embroidered throughout. A high collar contrasts with a low back. I felt the two enamel peacock feathers on the famous Child & Child tiara would add solidity to contrast with the open, embroidered fabric of the dress.

This peach gown, with a combination of embroidered and painted gold abstract shapes, also comes from Saab’s 2012 Autumn collection. I chose the hair comb from the Bagration Parure, c. 1810. A fabulous confection of pendaloque pink-salmony spinels and diamonds were mounted onto gold. It was attributed to Fossin & Fils, a predecessor of the French jeweler Chaumet. The parure originally belonged to Princess Ekatarina Pavlovna Bagration, wife of Prince Pyotr Ivanovic Bagration, a descendant of the Bagration Kings of Georgia. Prince Pyotr died fighting Napoleon at the Battle of Borodino in 1812.

Although shimmering crystals have always been a theme of Elie Saab gowns, 2013 brought structurally shaped examples to his collection, such as this red gown with horizontal, diagonal, and vertical elements. To go with it, I chose this Cartier aigrette tiara with a horizontal band and vertical-to-diagonal plumes of diamonds. It was purchased by Lord Derby in 1913.

In the 2013 collection, Saab also showed some embroidered satin gowns that struck a balance between structure and decoration. To compliment this green example, I chose a Belle Epoque Tiffany & Co. tiara, c. 1905. The gold openwork frame was architecturally designed, and it was decorated with cabochon- and pear-shaped-emeralds.

Finally, a navy blue one-sleeved gown with a fully embroidered top and chiffon skirt. In the past, Saab has done two layers of embroidery. This year, to simplify, his decorations were not overly intrusive. I paired the gown with David Morris’s one-of-a-kind Butterfly diamond tiara, which has approximately 35 carats of round and pear-shaped diamonds (color grade F) set in gold. The decoration is detachable from the modern bandeau.

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For more fashion and jewelry research, please examine our Resource Library and these books:

Elie Saab Memoire

Elie Saab 1ML Mini Spray

100 Unforgettable Dresses


Royal Jewels: From Charlemagne to the Romanovs

Timeless Tiaras: Chaumet from 1804 to the Present

8 thoughts on “Elie Saab Haute Couture and Diamond Tiaras

  1. Joost Daalder

    I like No 4. I find the crown itself interesting and satisfying, and is colours are an excellent match with both the person and what she wears. But 2, 3, and 5 are also very good. I liked No 1 slightly less because the colour match is not perfect, and hence a it distracting (even if you did your best). An interesting exercise!

    1. BarbaraAnne Post author

      I’m working on my 3rd century Korean Silla crowns, which have the same nomadic structure as the Afghan crown: 5 panels attached to a band. The panels can be taken off.

      On this, I just needed an excuse to wear that Child & Child tiara, and I tried my best. :-)

  2. Jen Cruse

    My choice is #1. I do think the colour match was good because, despite the previous comment, with a head, face and neck in between, the combination of tiara and gown would look perfect and Child & Child designed some ethereal head accessories. I’m impressed with the efforts of putting those combinations together. An inspired exercise.


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