Runway Report: Prabal Gurung

Inside New York’s historic Post Office building, on a runway complete with hanging transparent plastic walls,   Prabal Gurung unveiled his Spring 2014 collection.  Atypical in his choice of presentation, Gurung opted not to send one look after the other sashaying down a runway, but instead chose to have them all emerge at once, allowing the viewer to get a real sense of the collection as a whole.  And what a collection it was.

Gurung’s dexterity for cut, shape and fit was no more apparent than in this collection, proving yet again that he is among a handful of American designers with the mind of a couturier.  With a backbone of classic 1950’s silhouettes, Gurung’s use of bold color, playful, offbeat textiles, and inventive embellishment made for an edgy, almost futuristic collection, and yet, it remained feminine and real; “femininity with a bite”, as Gurung put it.   1950’s influenced high, wasp-waisted midi skirts were especially prominent, shown in both a carnation pink and black and a pistachio green and black rose scattered print, in structured, glossy satin trimmed with tulle, and even in transparent PVC with hand painted, glittering fauna.   The shape was continued in dresses; some strapless with pointed corsets peaking out, some gathered and off the shoulder, and all conjuring images of a modern-day Marilyn Monroe (indeed one of the inspirations behind Gurung’s collection).

His abstract use of textiles – color saturated tweeds emblazoned with large roses, laminated tulle detailing, and glittering PVC – proves him  a risk taker – but then, all innovators always are.  Gurung’s evening wear, glamorous and sensual, in its sash-tied waists, draping skirts and ostrich-feather accents. The clear standout:  a black off the shoulder dress, embellished with crystal roses and skirted in pink satin and tulle – a sure bet for the upcoming social season.
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