I always love Prabal Gurung’s showmanship. There is a beauty beyond the clothing, a psychology to his army of women marching toward the light. His spring collection continues into those depths through layers and folds, textures and patterns that lead your eye endlessly in a dance inspired by the natural beauty of the Nepalese sky and spirituality of the Himalayas. Through his designs may at first glance look very feminine with the flick of ostrich feathers or sweep of chiffon, at closer examination there is a strength to the Gurung girl, seen through her razor backs, belting details or harness like bodices. According to Prabal, this is how he plays on the juxtaposition of traditional Nepalese dressing from childhood memories and androgynous American sportswear that lives outside his New York City studio walls today.
Prabal stated that his main muse for this collection was Marilyn Monroe – the perfect choice for a designer so focused on femininity. To bring her into the modern era, however, was a challenge…and one Prabal took on fun, bright, edgy way.
Marilyn was represented in the elegance, glamour, and curvy silhouettes of the collection, but the punchy colors, abstract florals, and plastic harnesses made sure she felt at home and in vogue in the fast-paced 21st century.
“It was a celebration of women,” Prabal explained. “I was thinking about preserving elegance, but making it modern and right for now with the right amount of danger…I like the idea of femininity with bite.”
I’m sure Marilyn would have approved.
My relationship with Prabal Gurung goes back quite a ways now: from the CFDA incubator to the successful fashion name we all look forward to at NYFW. Each season, his show is one to look forward to as more of an experience than a runway of looks, and today was no exception. When the entire collection of girls lined up to start the show behind plastic walls, my entire body had goosebumps. Like a beautifully choreographed fashion ballet, the girls stepped out one by one into our world, just long enough to see the translucent look of the heels, Swarovski crystal beading on the gowns, and the surprising and fascinating cuts Prabal is known for. To me, these women look like modern day Barbie dolls, standing behind the plastic in their cotton candy colors and bright comic book lips…but the kind of Barbie who owns her own flat, negotiates her own deals, and picks up the check because she’s somebody in the world.
Prabal Gurung’s woman is always sexy…and this year, she’s also fierce. Inspired by an article he read about body armor for women, Gurung has taken female empowerment in fashion to a whole new level.
Army green and navy blue were tailored to the female form, emphasizing silhouettes with narrow waisted peplum jackets. Leather straps, epaulets and cargo pockets made fitting details for a woman on the front lines of fashion. Gowns draped off the shoulder with a hint to the saris of his native country and gave an air of power and polish.
Keep an eye out for the Gurung woman…she’s ready to take on the world.
Finale of feathers at Prabal Gurung FW2012
Uncursed by Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung FW2012
Prabal’s fall makeup inspired by the feathers of a bird…
EYES: M.A.C. Delft, blue brown pigment, smooth blue pencil, fresh water eyeshadow
Cheeks: M.A.C. cream color base in Luna
A human transformation into beautiful wild creatures, an interpretation of fashion only Prabal Gurung could create…
Back in April I visited designer Prabal Gurung in his studio and observed him in the middle of his process designing sunglasses… fast forward 5 months to this past NYFW I was so pleasantly surprised to see the final realized result. Pretty spectacular start to finish.
Behind the collection, Prabal SS 2012