Prabal Gurung Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2016 New York
Prabal Gurung has often incorporated his Nepalese heritage into his runway designs. But this season that inspiration was especially poignant as the collection came into being in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that shook Nepal in April.
The effect of the suffering taking place in his homeland had a profound impact on Gurung and, as any true artist does, he interpreted his emotions through his chosen medium of artistic expression – clothing. But however heartbreaking the inspiration, the result on the catwalk was one of the designer’s strongest to date.
Before the show got underway, a group of Tibetan monks, in their familiar saffron and ochre robes, came out on stage for a soothing throat singing blessing. It set a reflective tone for the collection but also elegantly made a color palette connection between the designer’s clothing and his heritage.
The show opened on a poetic note with a series of beautiful gauzy organza dresses embellished with orange and gold brushstrokes of jacquard. That painterly effect would become the leitmotif of the show, as Gurung would rework them into a print on dresses or texturally through sequined-covered gowns. Even the fluid draping of some of the designer’s dresses hinted at the movement of a paintbrush’s undulating arches.
The rich shades of the monks’ robes were also repeated in the collection, making for some strong ribbed knit dresses and a trio of floor-skimming sporty gowns that closed the show. Even the use of hand-tacking on some of the pieces alluded to the destructive earthquake in the way the openings in the fabric and the use of asymmetrical hemlines brought to mind the shifting earth.
Hopefully, this sincere and heartfelt collection acted like a cathartic balm on the designer’s psyche. It certainly is going to have beneficial effects on any woman lucky enough to own a piece from this show.