So far, Adele is killing 2017 – the British singer-songwriter won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year and is touring Australia for the first time in her 10-year career. To kick off the five city Australia Live tour, she performed at Perth’s Domain Stadium Tuesday night (Feb. 28th) in a custom burgundy gown by Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad.
Murad, whose star clientele include Beyonce, Shakira, and Taylor Swift, is known for his ornate, form-fitting designs filled with Swarovski crystals and beading. He’s also a frequent Jennifer Lopez collaborator – the two have worked together since 2010 and he’s recently designed three looks for her Las Vegas residency, All I Have.
Adele’s tulle, off the shoulder dress has more than 10,000 crystals and took about 500 hours to make. And though Murad’s designs have saturated the music industry since Miley Cyrus debuted a gown to the 2009 Oscars, this was his first time working with the “Hello” singer. “I was thrilled for the opportunity,” Murad tells Billboard. “I hope that this is the beginning of more to come.”
Billboard caught up with the Lebanese designer to discuss Adele’s gorgeous tour-opening piece.
What was the process of working with Adele on the look?
She really liked the look of the gown from the [Fall 2015] runway, so our first step was to show her the gown in person. From there, she decided that she wanted to modify it a bit by adding a longer sleeve and she liked the idea of adding more crystals to the bodice to make the gown really sparkle on stage. Her stylist [Gaelle Paul] also shared notes on adjustments that would need to be made to accommodate the particulars of how she has to move onstage and other technical elements of the show.
Why did Adele choose this color and silhouette?
She was attracted to the luxurious deep burgundy color and was excited by the off the shoulder silhouette as it was something she hadn’t done before.
What is it about Adele and her style that you love?
She’s incredibly talented – I’ve never heard someone with a voice like hers. She’s also very humble and seems to value having a normal life with her family. Adele has found a style that works and is comfortable for her, but it seems as though she’s starting to experiment with it a bit – dropping the neckline and getting a little more daring with her look.
How do you hope this dress makes her feel?
As with all of my clients, I hope this dress makes her feel feminine and confident.
What’s your favorite Adele song? Have you seen her in concert?
My favorite Adele song is “Set Fire to the Rain.” I haven’t had the opportunity to see her in concert before, but I hope to be able to catch her when she is back in Europe for the finale. It would be an honor to see her perform in my design.
What can we expect from your Paris show?
The Fall 2017 ready-to-wear collection which I’m presenting today (March 2) is a throwback to the sixties and the iconic French singers and actresses of that era, such as Francoise Hardy. There will be a mix of Japanese embroidery, sleeves with tiers of ruffles, faux fur jackets and coats. The color palette will include blush pink, boysenberry purple, bamboo yellow and vibrant green.