Zuhair Murad is longing for escape. The Lebanese designer has long turned to individuals or architecture to anchor his collections, but this season he looked to nature — and man’s impact on it — for his inspiration.
He traveled to the Vinicunca region of Peru and took color cues from its rainbow-shaded mountains, as well as the aerial shots of German photographer Tom Hegen, who puts the impact of human transformation on landscapes in focus. There’s beauty in the destruction in many of Hegen’s works, which Murad translated here to sunset shades of soft blues and dusty pinks, and unexpected tones of sand and ochre on pleated organza dresses. These colors were dreamy on prints, but black lace panels and added embellishments jarred the serenity.
Murad does bridal best — witness his coup dressing Jennifer Lopez for her first wedding to Ben Affleck, as well as her “Marry Me” film — and his construction on ballgowns remains unparalleled. He didn’t disappoint with structured asymmetrical gowns, as well as slinkier paillette party dresses. Ornamental floral appliqués adorned full skirts, paired with crop tops in line with this season’s midriff-baring trend.
Murad knows his client loves a ruffle and a flounce, and here he provided them in spades, even if they occasionally overpowered his craft.