For his fall couture lineup, Zuhair Murad looked to Imperial Russia, mining the period’s textures and patterns, and a sprinkling of references to military suits. A dark palette served as a backdrop to elaborate embroideries; floral and arabesque motifs applied in bronze, gold and silver. The designer threw in a bright blue, which he used to make long dresses with flowing capes. Red served as a rich accent — woven into a floral pattern on a cape dress in black crepe in one case, and incorporated on a jacket paired with sarouel pants in another.

There was solid red, too, with an asymmetric dress covered in beads, the embroidery a Fabergé motif. For the rest of the color scheme, he turned to pale hues of green, gray and pale blue; ivory serving as a luxurious backdrop for gold beadwork.

But it wasn’t all about the balls, tsarinas and Fabergé eggs. Murad widened his scope, adding weight through masculine elements borrowed from military uniforms.

“There is the something military but still sexy…this gives confidence and strength,” Murad said backstage.

Handsome, as well. A black velvet tailcoat carried bronze and red accents, the jacket cut extra short in front to reveal the midriff. There was also a short red romper outfit with silver and gold beadwork — both felt contemporary.

Playing with textures, Murad added lace as a contrast, including a long-sleeved dress with a plunging neckline and stripes of satin, velvet and lace skewed to the side.

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