While other luxury designers looked to the garden for inspiration this year, Zuhair Murad went straight for the forest. The Lebanese fashion designer visualized his client dreaming about an enchanted forest with “lighting from the moon and full of sparkling dresses” and created the collection to satisfy that dream. His Fall/Winter 2013 Couture Collection, Enchanted Forest, is full of fantasy, glamour and mystery.
Murad sticks to clean lines that enhance the silhouette, usually embracing the mermaid cut, but strays away from simplicity with intricate detailing. There is braiding, beading, glittering embroidery and crystals strategically placed on silk, chiffon, organza and Chantilly lace. Feminine and sultry, this collection exudes sensuality: slits, plunging necklines, sheer paneling and cut outs.
In a more literal representation of his enchanted forest, tree branches and twigs embrace the body, a look created with embroidery strategically placed on nude tulle. It is that kind of precision that is consistent in Murad’s work. While his Enchanted Forest couture collection boasts mostly floor length gowns, he presents several knee-high dresses. With beading, lace and peplum details, these shorter versions are also vibrant works of art.
The collection has a Gothic, enigmatic feel, but doesn’t rely on the color black; instead it introduces lace and Victorian necklines to bring in a touch of drama. The color palette is mostly jewel toned: midnight blue, garnet and emerald in conjunction with nude hues, black and metals. The jewel tones represent the different colors of the sky as seen from within the forest, the beautiful Midnight Blue looks like a bright cloudless sky, while the garnet echoes the sunset.
These are the kinds of gowns women dream about, and that’s exactly what the designer wanted. This forest isn’t rustic or mundane; it is Murad’s poetic rendition, where dazzling gowns hang from branches and women wear twigs that shine like crystals. ■