Prabal Gurung has been traveling a lot lately. He’s gone from charismatic places like Tokyo and Nepal, to more understated ones like Abu Dhabi and the South of France. In terms of fashion sensibility, he’s noticed an opposing spectrum of glamour and minimalism in those respective regions. He aimed to marry those concepts in a feat of comfortable luxury for pre-fall, punctuated with a practical element of transition.

“What I realized with this collection is what I wanted to do was this idea of armored elegance,” Gurung said during a presentation at Cadillac House. That meant balancing easy-to-wear silhouettes with evening appropriateness, and challenging heavy fabrics to be lighter and seasonless. The cozy tonal sweaters made in Nepal were the perfect example, easily styled over one another or sequin pants and slit skirts for casual takes on cocktail dressing. Regarding sequins, there were plenty — from a sexy red holiday number with a deep V and high slit to a strapless black gown toned down with languid trousers. “I just love this idea of sportswear with a glamorous touch to it,” Gurung continued.

The overall tone was indeed effortless, gentle confidence, and applied equally to feminine options for day. Highlights included the blue and white cotton dresses with hand-embroidery; the plaid-on-plaid dress-and-pant combo, and delicately ruffled dresses in pastel shades. The color story drew from Seventies-era Gloria Steinem, whom Gurung counts as a hero, and wanting to show our present is a reflection of that time. And it’s a personal touch that speaks to customers: “When we go to a store and see something emotional, we buy it.”

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