Zuhair Murad Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2018/19 collection inspired by a night in imperial St. Petersburg

There were almost as many sequins in the front row at Zuhair Murad as there were on the runway—proof as if any were needed, of how loyal the designer’s fan base is. Some of them even wore tiaras.

Although latter-day czarinas may be partial to head jewels, this collection, inspired by a night in imperial St. Petersburg, didn’t really need them. There was plenty of intricate jewel-like detailing going on in the clothes, some of it so elaborate the dresses rasped the floor.

“The czars and czarinas had famously luxurious taste,” the designer offered backstage before the show, although in lieu of a specific muse, he said he looked to his “many Russian clients who are beautiful and also have a very strong character.”

Even the bride was a queen. Asked how many hours the embroidery might have taken, the designer replied, “Thousands and thousands. That’s another story.” (vogue,com)

The effect was cinematic, although a real-life bride would be wise to know what she’s getting into. “It’s a little bit heavy,” he admitted. “You need to be a strong woman to wear it.”