I never thought that fashion could move me to tears, but this week was certainly one for firsts.

On a 24-hr trip to Paris to attend the fragrance launches of Elie Saab Le Parfum and Jean-Paul Gaultier's mens' Kokoriko, we were privileged be invited to their haute couture fashion shows, a level of catwalk I'd yet to experience.

Whilst JPG's show was wild, fun and full of drama (see my post next week), it was Elie's show that left me speechless.

It was the first of the two, so our anticipation had a good 2½ Eurostar hours to build up. We arrived at the Palais Chaillot, just off the Trocadero plaza overlooking the Eiffel Tower, where the catwalk room was bathed in a sapphire blue light and gentle classical music.

I've worked at and watched dozens of fashion shows and I'm quite literally surrounded in pretty gowns in the office every day, but these dresses were truly the most stunning I have ever seen. Ever.

They were all evening dresses - no skirts, tops, trousers or coats - and the collection began with an almost invisible sheath of tulle covered in hundreds of glimmering beads and crystals. The gowns that followed went from white to ivory to cream, nude and tea, gradually deepening to a dusky damson, milk chocolate, steel-grey and midnight blue. Each dress featured crystals, some loosely scattered, some dense (one dress was entirely covered) - emitting the most intense and mesmeric sparkle. The clever colour gradient of the show made it weirdly relaxing and hypnotising: there were no mad surprises, no shockers, no crazy accessories, nothing to distract from the utterly beautiful delicate dresses that had clearly undergone weeks of intricate beading and construction.

I hate to overuse a fashiony term, but this had Grace Kelly written all over it. More specifically, Grace Kelly in High Society, with those dreamy high-neck/low-back gowns, thin waistbands, floating skirts and light-as-air capes. These weren't Oscar dresses, these were Oscar-winner dresses. My friend Emma from OK! Magazine was next to me and we were both, quite simply, stunned. Mid-show she said: "In heaven, angels wear Elie Saab".
The star moment for me was surprisingly the bridal gown. I say surprisingly because I have seen hundreds if not thousands of wedding dresses in my time at Brides and although some have been incredibly beautiful, this one quite literally made me well up.

Here's a little video of it on our Brides Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bridesmagazine) that I manage to take. You can see the glimmering crystals and the angelic effect of the veil in the light. Wow, right?!
It was my first couture experience and one that I will never forget.
Click the link below to see the full show. Enjoy!