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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Zuhair Murad: A stellar collection

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

…No pun intended.

Leave it to Zuhair Murad to be surrounded by stars. The Lebanese fashion designer is used to stars, movie stars, also celebrities, queens and royalty.

This time, however, stars were not only enjoying the show in the first row, front and center. This week Murad had stars illuminating the runway: embroidered to skirts, clinging to bodysuits, glued to turbans and attached to sexy thigh-high boots. And not only stars, his fall 2022 collection is full of moons, tarot cards, myriad eyes, serpents and all kinds of astrological symbols. He also included the Zodiac signs (the late Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado would have been fascinated!), and palmistry in a huge way all over the glamorous collection of evening gowns we all loved so much.

“Les Arts Divinatoires” is an ode to drama and opulence, two elements treasured by the 50-year-old artist. It is a powerful fashion proposal not only because of its symbolism, but also because of the jewel tones that prevail throughout: sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple, citrine yellow and emerald green. According to Murad, “couture is a conspirator of the cosmos and its lucky stars.”

“At times all that’s needed is a gown to attract love, fortune and fame,” he said. “All the legends assert this as truth, and reality at Zuhair Murad stands as a testament to that mythos.”

Since the brand was founded in 1997, Murad has wowed the world with his signature haute couture techniques. The way he visualizes designs and sketches is very personal, very intense. The unique way he twists, turns and transforms fabrics, and plays with glitter, drama and appliques to put together each and every garment, is just amazing. Murad once said he puts hundreds of hours into just one gown. No doubt about that; the attention to detail shows. I mean, the mind-blowing beadwork! Thousands and thousands of sequins, jaw-dropping embroideries, pearls, crystals, feathers. More is always more.

This season Murad presented a lot of tight-fitting skirts, midriff-baring bodices, high mermaid slits, majestic draping and asymmetrical hemlines. He also revived the turban as a modern and so very sophisticated fashion accessory.

Headturners include the trio of gowns in emerald; floor-sweeping capes, tiered car wash fringe hems, and statement embroideries in gold over rich midnight blue velvet. Also winning, his asymmetrical evening gown in caramel with plunging neckline, fluid draped wrap skirt and superhero cape, belted with a sequined sun.

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