Nefertiti, Nefertari, Isis or Berenice: for his Couture Spring-Summer 2020 collection, Zuhair Murad pays homage to Egyptian queens who left a mark on history by their beauty and power. Using a hallowed vocabulary, each piece is elevated into an exploration of timeless elegance tinted with magic. The collar is bedecked with scintillating breastplates, each delicately bejeweled, that illuminate the face and neckline.
The sheath dresses, which run through the collection like a golden thread, are suspended by straps, delicately knotted at the shoulders and structured by a marked waist. As a reverence to the Sun God, evenings gowns are adorned with capes, with incandescent gilding and crystals, for a sensuous yet architectural effect. The sun pleats come in vermilion or pitch black, bedecked by a majestic trail and cutouts at the chest and the back. Yet this harmony has a distinctly modern touch: Net cocktail dresses with crossover necklines, paired with jackets with graphic shoulder pads, belted waists and enlivened by geometrical motifs that run along the body.
It is a true game of opacity and transparency that is at play, that allows light to shine through in each design. A result embellished by Egyptian symbolism, that infuses a mystical touch to the collection: the beetle, the incarnation of the sun and fertility, the lotus flower which suggests renewal or the cat, as a mark of divine love. Brocard, silk tulle, silk muslin, lurex, Duchess satin suggest a proud, gleaming sense of elegance. The palette, turquoise, vermilion, opalin, cyan and eglantine pink give a new electrifying scope to these organic shades that evoke precious stones and natural hues, rethought with a sense of radical luxury. A way of suggesting that nobility is first and foremost a way of envisaging the world — and the very notion of elegance — with equal parts of power and delicacy.