“I feel very Joan Collins in this, and I love it.”
Ballet dancer Misty Copeland was admiring the old Hollywood glamour of her black Prabal Gurung frock during the designer’s post-show dinner at Japanese eatery Zuma. The real focus at the party, however, was less on Gurung’s gowns and more on politics — and not just because Huma Abedin was in the room. Hours earlier, the designer had sent out a stream of politically charged T-shirts at the end of his show, inspired by the recent worldwide Women’s Marches and post-election protests.
“I keep saying I’ve never been so emotional at a fashion show,” Copeland said. “I was teary eyed. I mean, it’s so powerful, just to see ‘I am Emily’, ‘I am’ all of these different people, and representing different races and backgrounds and nationalities. That’s everything that I stand for, and I think that’s why I connect with [Gurung] as a person.”
The designer had paired the Ts with an easy tear-jerker — John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
“I grew up listening to it,” explained Gurung, still donning his ‘This is What a Feminist Looks Like” shirt from the series. “It’s imagine there’s no heaven, no religion, no country. I love it. ‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.'”
Let us wipe away a tear. OK, continue.
“For me, love is the resistance,” Gurung continued. “And for me, fashion and politics can’t be mutually exclusive anymore. Fashion can’t be an escape only, it needs to be responsibility, at least for me. I have the audience, I have the platform, and I’m able to say something. Just doing fashion for fabulous is so archaic, it’s so boring.”
Nearby, Ashley Graham was making the rounds. The model, who was revealed on Vogue’s April cover last week alongside Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, et al., had met Gurung backstage at his show in September 2016, shortly after he revealed that he was designing a line with Lane Bryant. Graham has fronted several of the retailer’s campaigns, and recently shot one for Gurung’s collaboration. “I walked backstage and I just looked at him and said, ‘Thank you,'” she recalled of their first encounter in September. “Now I’m part of the PG family.”
And being in the “PG family” comes with perks beyond just sushi and free-flowing Grey Goose cocktails.
“I’m going to have to pull Prabal aside and make sure that he makes those fringe dresses with the sheer lace backs for me,” she added, reflecting on his show. “Because those were life.”