NYFW: PRABAL GURUNG F/W 2014

One of the more fascinating aspects of fashion weeks is interesting sets against which designers display their clothing. For Prabal Gurung it was a set of very large bronze discs, quite beautiful to observe, but not enough to keep more than one person to tweet about the possibility of a gong show. Little could anyone know that, barely three minutes into the show, the runway would be assaulting by a streaker, of sorts, wearing a gold paper crown, leopard print thong, and a black trench coat. He knelt briefly next to one of the models before being quickly removed by security.

The distraction was genuinely unfortunate as Gurung’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection is one of the most beautiful and interesting we’ve seen so far this season. Pulling influences from his native India, Gurung utilizes bright colors and vivid prints with unique takes on the folds and wraps common to his home country. The end result is a very creative set of silhouettes that are asymmetrical in places one doesn’t normally expect asymmetry.

One of the most exciting elements in this collection are the use of wrapped capes in the place of traditional outerwear. These beautiful pieces are the kind of thing one hopes to see. While the touch isn’t wholly new, Gurung uses it expertly to the point of making it as fresh and sweet as this morning’s pastries.

I do wonder just how well some of the pieces will play in retail. Suit jackets with very different asymmetrical buttons may look a bit strange to those with a strong Western aesthetic. I also have to wonder if some of the fabric wrapping, while incredibly beautiful and well done, might be too confusing for general audiences. After all, the greater part of our population has difficulty reading about a third grade level. Understanding wrap instructions is going to be difficult for many.

The reasons to like this Prabal Gurung collection, though, are endless. The prints are nothing short of gorgeous. The new folds, while perhaps challenging for some, ultimately flatter the female form in unconventional ways. His array of evening gowns are enviable to the point of making one want to crash a red carpet event …

… clothed, of course.

 

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