Mustang is a tiny, former kingdom (now a republic) in the Himalayasthat remained closed to foreign visitors until 1992. Prabal Gurung paid avisit there on a recent trip home to Nepal and was struck by theregion’s traditional culture and serenity, which he channeled into hisfall collection. Perhaps due in part to familiarity with the sourcematerial, Gurung displayed a deeper level of comfort and confidence withthese clothes than he has in the past. The collection was one of hisbest.

Since launching his own line, Gurung has cited “femininitywith a bite” as his creative mantra, often yielding edgy, aggressivetakes on feminine allure. This time, he infused his lineup with arefreshing sense of ease beginning with beautiful melange knits — capesand trapeze shapes — elegantly bundled with scarves and gorgeous, craftyMongolian lamb coats worn over draped chiffon skirts. Nepal providedmore than inspiration — some of the cashmeres were produced there.

Therewas balance to everything, whether the fluidity and structure oftailored jackets and pants laced with draped satin panels, or the dramaand softness of sultry cocktail dresses and gowns embellished withmosaic crystals and ostrich feathers.

Done in warm colors, suchas crimson and orange, the finale was romantic and racy: Dresses camewith precision cutouts that offered a glimpse of flesh and the bite thatGurung can’t resist.

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