Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Woman Spring Summer 2017 – Soft, feminine looks in white and natural shades opened Prabal Gurung’s show this week. Kerchief hemmed skirts and cropped white pants, clasped at the seams by silver rings, started down the runway paired with long, loose sweaters that slipped off one shoulder. Sweaters with floating feather details, and floral designs were common pieces, while wide-legged pants and sashaying skirts completed the looks.

Between the loose and free silhouettes came snappy white shirts, one a shirtdress with mid-thigh slits between each skirt panel, another a deep v-neck with rolled sleeves worn over a hip-hugging leather skirt featuring long gladiator-like panelling below. White hues gave way to blue, introduced by a mottled mink and clinging sweaters. Flirtatious, ruffled hemlines swayed past, and one dress arrived covered in writing, with ribbons of text running down between panels and past the hemline to sway with the wearer’s movement. The words of famous women adorned this dress and several other articles – one shirt reads in fringed writing, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,” the first two lines from Emily Dickinson’s famed poem of the same name. Another reads, “They threw things at me, but they were not roses,” a quote from Susan B. Anthony that begins, “This is rather different than the reception I used to get 50 years ago.” The phrase was repeated on cropped leather pants, the hems attached with the same metal rings seen earlier.

Orange, plum, and pale moss green colours moved through the collection in turn, between black and white looks, and the occasional stripes. Floral patterns crept in, moving upward from hemlines or sprouting from shoulders, rarely encompassing an entire piece. Crisp collared shirts were paired with leather, and knits slid over silks, whether as sweaters over dresses and skirts, or as clinging wraps around only the middle of silk-clad bodies.

Dramatic silk gowns finished the show, featuring asymmetrical, kerchief hemlines, followed by two striking pantsuits, One a double-breasted jacket, the other a tuxedo. An active and conscientious designer, Gurung took his inspiration from the election this season, and one can guess exactly where the insight to design pantsuits may have originated (Gurung is among the designers to create a t-shirt for Hillary Clinton’s campaign). Hailing from Nepal, Gurung works with several organisations to support causes like youth education. Gurung even started his own, the Shikshya Foundation, which funds youth education and has recently been supporting relief efforts for the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

All this considered, it’s no surprise that sustainability is a cause close to his heart – many of his clothes, including cashmere sweaters and his new jewelry collection are sustainably crafted. Previewed for the first time at this show, Gurung’s jewelry is sculptural and unique, crafted in Nepal from recycled metal, creating jobs and reducing waste all at once. “I wanted to highlight Nepal’s special crafts,” he told Vogue. “These artisans have been making jewelry for generations, but they’re dying arts. Technology is taking over, but there’s something very Old World and charming about the flaws and imperfections in handcrafted goods.”

Prabal Gurung Woman Spring Summer 2017

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Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.

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