If Elie Saab has moved beyond his days of solid jewel tone chiffon and beaded gowns, it feels like Zuhair Murad has stepped into that void. His couture collection could very easily be written off as Red! Blue! Green! Black! Gold! Finale Wedding Dress! Any Questions?
But that would be something of a disservice to the Lebanese designer who may be picking up the slack in the market left behind by Saab, but whose takes on these sorts of dresses at least have a POV, a theme and a fair for color combinations and patterns that Saab did not have during his heyday of solids.
For one, there was the country angle. Not quite the American southwest and not quite the Australian outback, the country flair and cowboy hats were just neutral enough to appeal to both. And that’s savvy marketing, as those who are the most drawn to the safety of these sorts of solid jewel tone gowns that show everything without actually showing anything, and won’t land anyone on the worst dressed list, is the American country music market.
There were plenty of choice in the safety color of black, including a jumpsuit or two, just to fit in with the times. There was also quite a few red ones–nothing is safer on a red carpet than red, as long as it’s a few shades darker than the floor, and these definitely qualified. My personal favorites were when he allowed multicolor to come through, though the few two-toned pieces, most notably a green with blue bead work floor-length number, were quite striking. The only place where the designer lost me was the closing gold section, which felt like one had taken country, the 70s disco scene and the golden globes and attempted to put them in a blender for the “Will it blend” challenge. The whirl of two many concepts crashing into each other was headache inducing, but I could see a Taylor Swift type with no taste thinking them the bee’s knees.
The full collection, with closing tea dipped wedding gown, is below.