The dim Paris winter daylight had just disappeared when Zuhair Murad plunged the audience into his ocean fantasy.
“The inspiration was all about the sea, the world of the deep sea, the sea from the beaches, from inside and outside,” he explained backstage. Also citing Cher, Jerry Hall and Bianca Jagger, power women of the Seventies and early Eighties, the designer navigated between a sexier, rock attitude — projected with sharper shoulders — and a softer, romantic side.
With their influence emerged a more assertive Murad; his breed of glamour leans to delicate and the added oomph helped offset the literal interpretation of the theme. For example: sharp shoulders on a silver gown with a plunging, V-shaped neckline; pale blue suede boots anchoring a ruffled minidress; a high-waisted, midriff-baring jumpsuit, the pant legs cut disco-style.
His broad, marine-infused lineup kicked off with a shimmery, fish-scaled dress, dark in color, with salmon, yellow and green sequins. Shell-shaped pleats fanned up the front, their scalloped edges quivering above the chest. Nearly 60 looks followed, reflecting the designer’s range — one after another, the gowns swept out sparkling, flowing, many fixed with the same, trim belt. It had a diamond-encrusted buckle in the shape of a scallop and changed colors with each look.
Highlights included a pleated iridescent dress with maximum flow, reined in on top with a tightly wrapped bustier. The realistic print of starfish and coral on an ocean floor made an airy blue chiffon dress and cape ensemble look cool.
Another caped, chiffon number was a stunner — fluid but not wispy. The aquatic shades of blue melded together in a way that verged on psychedelic.