The inspiration behind Zuhair Murad's haute couture collection was the iconic Gibson Girl – the personification of the ideal woman of the 19th century masterfully portrayed in stunning illustrations by the artist Charles Diana Gibson. It was her statuesque figure, her narrow waist and the way she carried her head high that fascinated Murad. He wanted to depict this symbol of modern femininity through his fall/winter haute couture collection and he certainly managed to do so through a unique combination of contemporary chic and vintage glamour.
The dazzling evening gowns from this haute couture collection come in all shapes and lengths from tea-length frocks to seductive sheaths or striking A-line styles with ample skirts and extravagant embellishments. There was an abundance of luxurious pleats, floral embroideries, ostrich feathers and gleaming crystals.
The collection was very iridescent as Zuhair Murad placed a strong focus on ornaments while the fabrics were incredibly lightweight and sheer, enabling ease of movement. Fringing, feathers and sequins gave nod to the fashion of Art Nouveau and even the most cutting-edge pieces such as intricately adorned jumpsuits had a vintage flair. Silky velvets competed with translucent chiffons and tulles which created playful contrasts in texture and form.
The dresses are worn with elegant accessories including floor-sweeping capes or embellished boleros, ethereal, barely-there tulle overlays, bejewelled head bands or crowns and delicate belts. The make-up to match these flamboyant dresses is very simple and natural with a subtle splash of colour on lips and cheeks, while the hair is styled in a effortless up-do.
Like every Zuhair Murad collection, his Fall/Winter 2017/2018 Haute Couture collection showcased a rich colour palette. After the opening look which was a white pencil dress adorned with Charleston beading and feathers, the show continued with a line-up of black evening gowns and then an explosion of frothy pastel shades that included powdery pinks, turquoise blues, grey greens, purple blues, champagne ivories and soft creamy hues.
Some of the dresses are embellished with decadent multi-coloured embroideries, and almost every look could be translated into bridal wear. Zuhair Murad’s haute couture wedding gown shown at the very end of the show was the cherry on top: a breath-taking ‘Coleur du temps’ dress rendered in tulle plumetis and awash with shimmery thistles and ostrich feathers. The dress was topped with a big tulle veil and an anornate crown.
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