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Zuhair Murad 2011 Bridal Collection

Zuhair Murad's 2011 Bridal Collection is romantic, sensuous and startling. It explodes with imagination and excitement.

When Hollywood's A-list need to strut the red carpet in style they call Zuhair Murad. Superstars like Beyonce and Eva Longoria Parker regularly make it on to best dressed lists rocking the Lebanese designer's extravagant creations at glitzy showbiz events. With an eye for opulent fabrics, classically cut and often intricately patterned with jewels, Murad has become the go-to-guy for celebrities craving old Hollywood glamour with a modern twist.

Murad's home is in Lebanon's cosmopolitan sea side capital, Beirut. The city's fusion of ancient monuments and cosmopolitan nightlife is an ongoing source of inspiration, the designer told CNN. "Everything is unique here you see," he said of the city that has influenced his work. A bustling, vibrant trading center facing out to the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut has, over the centuries, lived under the rule of diverse cultures including the Greek, Roman and Ottoman empires. And that history shines through Murad's designs. The geodesic shapes and fancifully designed patterns found in Islamic art through to the strong lines and bold columns of Grecian architecture are all starting points for collections. .

After completing his studies in art and design, Murad opened his first atelier in Beirut in 1995. He hit the world stage in 2001 when his collection showed at Paris Haute Couture fashion week. Beirut, he says, is a city where the past, including the country's long history of conflict, is a part of its vibrant present. The ongoing process of rebuilding means ancient buildings jostle cheek-to-cheek with modern structures.

Like Beirut, Murad's collections contain a "touch of the ancient with the modern at the same time," he said. At his boutique, located in the city's downtown quarter of Solidere, Murad illustrates the connection between his work and the capital's architectural heritage. The shape of a dress reminds him of the "ancient columns" of his home town, while its color was was inspired by the "antique gold mixed with the ivory and stones" found in an Ottoman-era chandelier.

For a man this engrossed with his surroundings, it's no surprise that religious symbolism is prominent among Murad's influences. At the Al-Omari Mosque in the city center, the designer charts the spiritual significance of particular colors and shapes. "Blue dresses I like because blue is something that you know from God," he says. The color is connected to the sky, the sea and the future, all of which have "no limit".

via CNN World and Luxurious Wedding