The Hôtel Potocki is a former residence of the Polish noble Potocki family in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, and was once the location of the fashionable salon of Countess Emanuela Potocka. Seems like the perfect setting for Zuhair Murad’s bourgeois-esk couture show inspired by Marie Antoinette.
It wasn’t the frilly, pastel colour, bouncy silhouettes that immediately pop into your mind when you imagine the quirky wardrobe of a French royal, instead Murad presented the more sensual night time side of a woman who enjoyed social circles until dawn. So out came the glittering gown modelled on Alessandra Ambrósio that looked almost like armour, followed by lace floor length capes and corseted dresses – some with top halves looking like baroque tail coats.
The renaissance theme continued with gold-thread embroidery decorating sheer fabrics and shiny satin as well as hooded velvet capes. He took a break from dresses by offering a take on masculine wear from that period and styled cropped jackets with velvet trousers and over-the-knee boots. We also saw sparkling mini dresses and glittering second-skin jumpsuits which would appeal to younger clientele.
For the bridal gown, Murad went back to the theme with an almost-theatrical creation that could’ve easily stepped out of Marie Antoinette’s personal wardrobe. The detailing and fines craftsmanship would be good enough for any royal, but did it borderline on costume? A few may argue so, but then why shoudn’t there be a little drama in couture?
You have to praise the Lebanese designer on his ability to blend the complex patterns, eccentric decorations and textile sumptuousness to deliver what fans of the Maison love – pure opulence.