PARIS: Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad on Wednesday staged his first physical runway presentation since the start of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic with an outdoor event at Paris’ Lycee Louis-le-Grand.
The front row for his fall 2021 couture show was packed with media representatives and his devoted clients – which include A-list celebrities and royals – who all had to undergo temperature checks for virus symptoms in order to gain entry to the venue.
The prestigious French secondary school’s courtyard served as an idyllic setting for the glamorous collection, inspired by Venice.
Ras Baalbek-born Murad embellished rich fabrics such as velvet, duchesse satin, organza, and chiffon in a Murano glass-inspired color palette of sapphire, emerald, and ruby with sequins and beads reminiscent of opulent chandeliers on a palazzo on the Grand Canal.
The collection’s intricate embroidery highlighted why Murad required two ateliers fully-staffed with petites-mains – in Beirut and Paris – to complete his creations. One dress was completely painted with marble motifs by hand.
On theme, the 49-year-old designer also incorporated beaded masquerade masks, similar to those worn during the Venice carnival, into the offering.
Murad’s studio has received commissions for the Cannes Film Festival, currently underway in the south of France. The sleeveless dress embroidered all over with multi-colored sequins and featuring matching opera gloves was perfect for the red carpet and the metallic gold jumpsuit with head-to-toe crystal fringing ideal for an exclusive after-party.
A sinewy, midnight black lace and fishnet minidress with a billowing taffeta cape practically screamed, “wear me now, Bella Hadid.”
Murad closed the show with a glamorous, heavily embellished bridal gown with beaded, quarter-length sleeves, and intricate jewel-like detailing.
Weddings are moving forward among Murad’s loyal clientele – Victoria’s Secret model and bride-to-be Jasmine Tookes, who was sat front row, hinted that she could be walking down the aisle in one of his creations.
In a social media post, Tookes, who got engaged to Juan David Borrero in September, said: “Such a pleasure to be in Paris and watch my favorite designer @zuhairmuradofficial. Ten years ago, I used to walk his couture shows and now I wear his dresses on almost every red carpet. Something even more special is coming very soon.”