An enigmatic title such as “Uncursed,” which Prabal Gurung chose forhis fall collection, begs for demystification. Backstage before theshow, he said he found inspiration in the blue rose, which does notoccur in nature but was engineered in Japan in 2004. “For me, the roseis so blasé because of its popularity,” said Gurung, for whom the bluegenus has reversed the curse of banality. There’s more: The idea ofcreating something totally new set Gurung on a soul search. “We all havethe dark and the light side, but for the longest time I’ve only put myhappy self out there,” he said. “Finally, professionally, mentally andspiritually, I’m in a place where I’m willing to deal with the dark sideof me.”

Gurung thus attempted a collection as multilayered and wroughtwith deeper meaning as his state of mind. The show progressed literallyfrom dark to light, beginning with all-black looks on brunette models,then a bluish section on girls with light brown hair, followed by theivory and gold finale shown on blondes. It exhibited further movementaway from the ladyfied looks that got him noticed in the first placewhile crystallizing the provocative yet pretty tone he has assumed thelast few seasons. An overall sense of precision was revealed inwell-defined lines: sculpted coats, tunics and sexy bootleg trousers; ablack neoprene dress with sheer tulle inserts at the waist and neckaccessorized with a patent-leather spine harness. Bold variations onspring’s Rorschach-like prints turned up, as did the flounced-skirtsilhouette that’s becoming a signature of Gurung’s design vocabulary.The execution was beautiful, and the studied flamboyance risky — all tothe designer’s credit.

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