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Zuhair Murad and Valentino show triumphant Spring-Summer 2023 Haute Couture

Front row: Hala Reda at Zuhair Murad show.

By Liliya Tippetts

The Zuhair Murad Haute Couture spring-summer 2023 Collection draws inspiration from the dexterous architectural details from the Belle Époque—paired with the reckless spirit of the seventies. The show notes stated, "The mood of the collection is centered around nights on the streets of the most mythical bay in the world, young women frolic on Vespa's,..., hair disciplined in straw hats or large silk scarves,... sometimes floating in the wind...". Bringing the breeze of contemporary looks and the rich and dramatic color palettes of Cote d'Azur sunsets, the collection goes from bright pink to flame orange, with statement pieces in pale green, Caribbean blue, and fading yellow.

Zuhair Murad Spring-Summer 2023 Couture collection. All show images courtesy of Zuhair Murad.

Murad's collection is made with carefully chosen materials and textiles. The finest silk is used throughout the collection. Looks in cady, tulle, chiffon, taffeta, satin, jersey, or chiffon create flowy, yet constructed silhouettes, adorned with intricate cuts and embroidery on daywear and eveningwear for a woman who is ready for triumph.

Zuhair Murad transports us to another universe of mysterious hidden sun-soaked bays, picking up on last spring's maritime explorer theme and the grandeur of the age of navigating the high seas. The designer has envisioned the spring/summer 2023 collection as a heroine of the Art Deco style with defined bold silhouettes and, often, extremely sparkly and sequined looks.

As the show progressed, the Belle Époque theme became more evident in the majestic dresses fit for grandiose chateau events. Notably, Murad's Mariee appears to be an homage to the epoque of grandeur, when the centuries collide. The macramé-adorned wedding dress is unlike anything the designer has previously shown, and its purity is in contrast to many other highly embellished outfits, nevertheless, it got a well deserved applause.

Reflecting on the history of macramé-style knots , known from the carvings of the Babylonians and Assyrians, the finale underlines the designer's masterful touch; paying hommage to the tradition while keeping his mind in the present. This seemingly effortless pairing is the reason for Zuhair Murad's international popularity and the reason why his dresses are so well-suited for red carpets in LA, French Riviera parties, or wedding ceremonies of dynasties.

Murad's couture looks do not replicate history; rather, his couture proposes casual elegance that captures the freedom and all the modern opportunities of the contemporary era. Titled "Exquisite Dynasty," the collection is the ultimate lineup of looks that invite a comeback to the dance floors. After the past few years of navigating restrictions, we are ready to make summer 2023 full of celebrating events that don't get canceled.

Guests attending Zuhair Murad show: From right Ms Samanzar Khan, Mrs Keke Olisemeka, Mrs Ella Peters, Mrs Fawzia Khan, Ms Ayesha Khan

LTR: Liliya Tippetts, fashion designer, and @gessicakayane Brazilian actress and comedian, she was featured on the Brazilian edition of Forbes' Under 30 list for 2020.

LTR: Maja Malnar and Liliya Tippetts.

Valentino ends the day with sustainability angle

Images courtesy Valentino.

On the occasion of its Haute Couture SS23 show, Valentino Le Club Couture, the Maison collaborates with La Réserve des Arts, a French nonprofit organization founded in 2008 with the aim of supporting the circular economy applied to the creative sector, with its many facets and interlocutors. At the heart of the work of the organization is the salvaging of sets, props and visual merchandising products to which it gives new life, offering them to a Community made up of over 10,000 members, students and art professionals who can buy them for their own creative work.

The impossibility of Haute Couture - an expansion of the imagination, a space beyond reason. Couture is a sphere of fantasy and freedom, of the unique and exceptional, where craft is not a fetishistic reflection of value but a means and methodology to achieve improbabilities, to challenge perceptions, to create bold new realities. Fabric becomes a chiaroscuro across the body, volumes float, cuts are imperceptible, a ribbon of chiffon may suspend a ball gown. The unbelievable becomes material, imagination becomes real.

Harnessed to this fundamental virtue of Haute Couture, Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli conceives an impossible rendez-vous, between the universes of Couture and the club. Perceived polarities can provoke dialogue, another impossibility: a synergetic, spontaneous language is found between the lexicon of Couture and the world of nightclubbing. Their shared values: mutual gestures of extravagance, the notion of clothes as tools of transformation, crafting a true self, a dichotomous yet dual vocabulary of display and revelation, performance through life. And, above all, a plurality of beauty, beauty as individuality, a heroic expression of inner truth made outer. Fashioning a dream - the opportunity to become.

Shifting perception and perspective, context is altered - Couture is presented within new environs, as emphasis to this essential exchange. There is a symbiosis between the characters of the club and the imprimatur of Maison Valentino, boldness conveyed through colour and graphic pattern, embellishment and volume. Volant ruffles invent new architectures around bodies, polka-dots and stripes are reinterpreted through cut, forming two dimensions from three. Couture tropes are challenged through their celebration, embroideries and hand-drapes, pale pink feathers knotted with black satin bows. A play with scale magnifies details, to resonate. The glamour of Valentino is resignified, reflective of the self-expression of a new generation.

And within the egalitarian arena of the club, Couture itself transmutes ideologically: here it may become democratic, a proposition of universal enjoyment, a symbol of emotional resonance. The sign value of Haute Couture is thus transformed - Couture becomes an emblem of uniqueness, personality, identity and character, and an evocation of the purest human joy of dressing and dressing up.

Rami Al Ali

 All images courtesy of RAMI AL ALI.

On the same day, Rami Al Ali unveiled his spring/summer 2023 couture collection, imbued with timeless Hellenic aesthetics and proposing his collection of contemporary femininity against the background of inspiration taken from Greek mythology and one of its oldest fables, "The Golden Fleece," the fleece being a symbol of authority and kingship.

The Hellenic inspiration is also seen in the majestic draping that the designer pairs with his signature palette of pastel tones. Softest shades of blue, mist green, lavender, champagne beige, and blush pink are tastefully adorned with details in silver and gold.

Rami Al Ali's vision of ancient Greek art and splendor is transformed into a spectacular line-up of one-of-a-kind couture creations in silk organza, satins, mousseline, and brocade. To add even more vitality to his silk sculptures as he enriches them with historical Greek references, the designer adds intricate, embroidery motifs, handwoven with the finest gold and silver threads, and even gold embossing. The effect of these on the observer is dazzling.

Rami Al Ali's extraordinary vision becomes clearer as the collection progresses, with his signature couture techniques allowing for more room for movement and dancing, as well as less constrained silhouetting.

Rami Al Ali in Paris.

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