Zuhair Murad Pre-Fall 2023

Zuhair Murad has gone down the rabbit hole this season, with a fanciful collection inspired by “Alice in Wonderland.”

It brought out the Lebanese designer’s playful side, full of bright colors and bold prints in a range of exuberant Dorothy Draper-style sorbet shades of pinks and greens.

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The first looks incorporated playing card motifs, scrawled with hearts, diamonds and spades, on pajama-style suit sets, sundresses and belted shirtdresses. The print makes the latter feel less buttoned up, with the brights bouncing off one another.

Another standout was a one-shoulder cape dress with a gold and black floral print in dramatic draping, and strong shoulders on duchesse satin gowns proved his prowess with tailoring.

The designer works with heavier velvets with two-toned gowns this season, with a black deep-V velvet bodice and full skirt with the heart and spade motif translated here into gold, black and lavender brocade. Classic Little Black Dresses added an element of surprise with tiny tokens of Wonderland, in heart- or diamond-shaped buttons on bows or pockets. The theme is charming in small touches, larger appliques are overpowering, such as a bustier on a white column dress.

Murad has kept the caftans and ponchos he started working with a few seasons ago, adding an element of upscale comfort dressing.

He has branched out between collections, and is now entering home design with the Murad-branded Elegance Tower in development in Dubai. The apartments in the 25-story tower will have hidden doors, adding an element of “Alice” into his interiors.

Murad has continued his streak of red carpet wins, dressing Jessica Chastain in an off-the-shoulder gown for the Oscars’ Annual Governors Awards last November. The actress had the piece from the spring 2020 collection for more than a year, and waited for the right occasion to wear it.

This collection has several pieces that are bound to become instantly coveted classics.

Launch Gallery: Zuhair Murad Pre-Fall 2023

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