Zuhair Murad has entered his LBD era.
The Lebanese designer known for his over-the-top embroidery and extravagant gowns presented a pared-back, black-and-white body-con capsule this season. The Leger-esque knits are both a nod to Y2K style — hello early Kim Kardashian — and the zeitgeist, as his clients are feeling a little bit less flashy.
To be sure they were a small part of the collection, but served as an anchor and marked a bit of a turn for Murad. It was conservative — by his standards at least — as he also introduced tweed for the first time on slim-cut shift dresses, flat-front shorts and round-necked Spencer jackets.
Murad pulled circus performers, the “Nanas” sculptures of artist Niki de Saint Phalle and the costumes of Maison Vicaire from his magical top hat of inspirations this season, seen in knots and gold ball details on gowns, capes and high-necked collars. Yet nothing was overt. A harlequin pattern was blown up to proportions that obscured its origin, reading as a waist detail or simple ball skirt, while even the animal prints were subdued with tone-on-tone tiger and zebra prints on velvet.
Several dress shapes were slimmer and there was a lot less bling in a muted color palette of ruby red, royal purple and marigold yellow. He also experimented with draping, giving gowns relaxed movement and ease for a more mature Murad.
His party girl still has plenty of options in silver sequined pantsuits, liquid lamé and slinky crushed velvet columns.
The designer has continued his streak of red-carpet wins, dressing Jessica Chastain in a hot pink stunner at last week’s SAG Awards. He’s also dabbling in interior design projects, most recently a set of branded apartments in Dubai, and is expected to announce a new interiors project later this year. A new boutique in Qatar will open near the end of April.
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