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Lebanese designers Zuhair Murad, Elie Saab pull off sumptuous couture collections

PARIS: With the end of Paris Haute Couture Week comes a chance to sit back and review the new collections unveiled by the world’s leading designers without the dizzying rush of endless events and runway shows.

This year, the official Haute Couture calendar featured four Lebanese fashion houses, including mainstays Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab.

Murad, who presented his Fall/Winter 2022-23 collection to a packed crowd, drew inspiration from the mystical arts such as Tarot, astrology, horoscopes and palmistry for his latest outing.

The collection was divided into ten colorful chapters that reflected the atelier’s sublime beadwork and craftsmanship, with a strong focus on the signs of the Zodiac in one gown in particular. The signs of the zodiac were surrounded by crystal-studded applique on a long, floor-grazing gown with a cancer sign at the center as it is the astrological sign of the designer. Serpents also played a symbolic role in the collection due to their being “virtuous,” according to the fashion house, while other recurring symbols included the sun and stars.

A very sensual couture collection that featured high slits, wrap skirts, jackets, bodysuits, short dresses with removable trains, ball gowns, jumpsuits and capes, it was a varied line that encapsulated the opulence that Murad stands for.

As for Saab, the designer pulled off a stellar showcase of both womenswear designs and — for the first ever time ever — a menswear collection.

Inspired by the pearlescent sheen of twilight, the collection was marked by shades of vermillion, pink, metallic gold and deep blue, mirroring the sky as the sun makes its hazy descent for the day. Showcased in Paris’s Le Carreau du Temple, the gowns competed with the dramatic surroundings and came out on top with their geometric embellishments, feathers, shimmering beads, crystals, gemstones and sequins.

The men’s collection was majestic and featured capes and royal velvet suits that blended smoothly with the women’s line. The designer stayed true to his style and ensured the menswear offering was equally opulent with its embroidery and luxurious embellishments.

And the grand finale did not disappoint — Saab’s show-stopping wedding dress was a gown to be remembered with its fluttering veil of crystals that took the master couturier’s latest runway presentation into the realms of fantasy.