Ziad Nakad began his fashion house/atelier in 1997 with a vision of marrying timeless femininity with bold, dramatic flair; now, over twenty years later, that same spirit is deliciously present in the designer’s Spring/Summer 2019 line. This collection is all about evening wear, and Nakad has envisioned pieces specifically inspired by the night sky; the constellation of Orion in particular has heavily informed these shimmering gowns. Each piece gleamed like an individual star on the runway at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week this past January. “Just like a sky hunter,” says Nakad’s press team, “Ziad blends heavenly bodies motifs with star-shaped patterns and creates a constellation of dresses.”
Why Orion? “Orion is a large hand that tosses diamond dust onto bare lands,” the press release goes on to explain. “Orion is a creative mind that scatters moondust and fills the sky with sparkling flickers. Orion simply dazzles.”
Lofty ideas, of course — so how are these celestial visions translated into apparel?
The collection seems to dance between time periods, with silhouettes that speak to classic Hollywood glamour and reach as far back as the Renaissance. The theme has been officially described as “vintage, aged like royal centuries,” and we definitely see a monarchy-infused vibe in this collection; some of these gowns seem to have been plucked straight from the ballroom of the Winter Palace in the last days of the Romanov dynasty.
Cuts are flowy and extravagant, with embroidery that is all about stones. A standout detail across the collection is the use of romantic, regal winged sleeves — though these aren’t just your ordinary appearance of the style. True to Nakad’s penchant for boldness, these sleeves drape all the way to the floor, flowing like long veils and in some cases forming a sea of luxurious fabric beside a short train. The occasional use of sparkling wrist cuffs on otherwise bare arms ensures that the fabric is constantly in motion and never stops catching the light, allowing it to dance with the smallest of hand gestures.
Colours here are ones you’d expect from pieces inspired by the heavens. Champagne and silver are the primary hues at play; reversing the pattern of the night sky, it’s the shimmering stones on some of these gowns that are inky black, perhaps a metaphorical inversion of the relationship between starlight and darkness. The occasional black piece crossed the runway laced with cool silver, like a winter’s night. And when it came to colour, aside from a dusky use of dark blue and a pop of ultramarine, the aesthetic was generally all about pale pastels — colours one might see in an artist’s rendering of some far-off galaxy. Cool mints, dusty rose, soft periwinkles, and lilacs brought some added drama to fun, feathered ruffles.
To view the full collection, visit Nakad’s website.
Photos: MÉPHISTOPHÉLÈS PRODUCTIONS