zuhair murad fashion show paris “She’s tall, beautiful, self-confident,” Zuhair Murad said, describing his impression of Charles Dana Gibson’s famous Gibson Girl illustrations from the 1890s. Funny, though, he may as well have been referring to his own feminine ideal. Compared to his last haute couture collection, which was a blitz of ’80s glitz, this offering came across as relatively restrained and romantic (needless to say, Murad’s creations remain seeped in opulence). His interpretations of fin de siècle silhouettes, Edwardian inflections, and Art Nouveau decoration meant that models assumed a more cultivated air—and if this sounds like a pretentious observation, at least it conveys his break with what came before. At the start, you see the black-and-white grouping benefiting from velvet, fluid beadwork, and high-contrast botanical embroidery. But he quickly moved on from this sharp register for a softer rollout of a muted palette, with diaphanous gowns covered in tonal surface detail—and all those nature motifs shone like diamonds (or, at least, extra-luminous crystal). His nude effect seemed even more finessed than usual; it was nearly impossible to spot where the illusion ended and the body began.
Beyond that, singling out the fairest maidens seems like a futile exercise, since the perfectly fitted silhouettes all qualified as pretty, and any additional preferences would be highly subjective. Still, the delicate feather and pleated tulle aspects—a pleated portrait collar here, a floaty tuft of ostrich there—imbued the gowns with welcome lightness and movement. This kind of subdued detailing will be recognized by the designer’s ideal-aspiring clients as new, even if it originated from something old.