That Gibson Girl

Her figure is statuesque, her waist is narrow and her head is carried high: the Gibson Girl, a key figure of the late 19th century, is a much a beauty ideal as a symbol of modernity and empowerment.

She is also at the origin of the Zuhair Murad Couture 2017-18 collection, injecting a sense of elegance equally timeless and deeply rooted in its time.

This wardrobe plays with a duality between strength and delicacy. A sheath dress comes with a trail, a bodysuit is worn with a cape, and ample floor-length skirts are contrasted by plunging backlines.

Textures and textiles are juxtaposed to express the same sense of contrast: Ostrich feathers adorn hemlines, pearled fringes undulate with each movement, thistles are painted and embroidered in sequins as a wink to Art Nouveau. Details including pleated tulles and tears of ruffles add an airiness and a sense of romance to the most complex of pieces.

This ornamental and gracious allure is twisted with silk velvet layers, boleros, flounced midi skirts, boyish trousers, so as to dress a body in motion.

The palette, grey-green, powdered pink, cream, ivory, and charcoal, further suggests a sense of contemporaneity and perpetually renewed savoir-faire.