Streaker doesn’t stop Prabal Gurung
The usual NYFW black box gets old and boring pretty quickly. This season’s set at Prabal Gurung is a dark runway lined with what looks to be giant brass gongs, which completely transform the space. It’s the first show of the week that can actually hold its own against the grand happenings that Paris regularly rolls out.
An attention-grabby man has just tried to streak the runway, wearing only a g-string. Drama! But the guy (a protester? animal rights activist? stray crazy?) barely captures our attention because we’re all too busy scrutinizing Prabal’s artful reinventions of the trouser suit, which he’s slashed, twisted and draped to beautiful effect, and his many multilayered Mongolian wool, fur and silk looks. When a collection has the power to overshadow a naked running man, you know you’ve done good.
I’m backstage and staring at Prabal’s mood board. With its photographs of Tibetan men and women dressed in traditional garb in deep reds, the slouchy, the elegant ease of his collection makes sense. On the one hand, the work has a dressiness that seems to have carried over from the hyperfeminine glamour he showed last season, and yet these clothes were completely different. In short: The relaxed shapes of his slouchy trousers, draped skirts and oversized outerwear looked much easier to have on than the 1950s pin-up corsets and wiggle skirts that defined spring ’14. And all of this new wearability showed technical and creative growth, with the elaborate wrapping, draping and swaddling echoing the traditional chubas worn by the villagers in Mustang, Nepal, that served as his original point of inspiration. It was his best collection to date, and judging by the smile Prabal is wearing right now, I sense that he has the same feeling.
Backstage Prabal is talking about diversity on the runway. “It’s a shame that this is still an issue,” he tells longtime model advocate Bethann Hardison. But his runway casting, which included Ophelie Guillermand, Malaika Firth, Maria Borges, Ming Xi, Tilda Lindstam, Binx Walton and Sharam Diniz, proves that it’s possible to show a wide range of beauty in a way that feels organic, rather than forced.
Anna Wintour, Karolina Kurkova, Carolina Herrera, Hailee Steinfeld, and a slew of editors, stylists and agents.
The major trends
Layering, contrasting textures, shaggy furs
What this will mean for your wardrobe
Pay zero attention to the street style set braving the cold in bare legs and sandals. Warm, chunky layers is where it’s at.