It’s commendable when designers use their runways to champion a cause as Prabal Gurung did for fall, weaving a message about women and diversity — there were plus-sized models — through the show. Then he hammered the point home with a finale of models wearing T-shirts printed with things like, “The Future Is Female,” “We Will Not Be Silenced,” “I Am a Rose,” and “I Am a Coretta.” Those who have a mic and want to put it to good use should do so.
To that end, it does not go without saying that Gurung’s political message was a separate entity from the clothes. Good will and good intentions don’t always add up to the strongest collection. He didn’t deviate all that much from the things that have come to anchor his brand — super-sized chunky Mongolian knits, here done in snowball cashmere; fluid mid-length dresses and skirts trimmed in delicate covered buttons; red-carpet-moment gowns to close the show — but the silhouettes needed to be sharper; the ideas tighter.
For example, it was difficult to see what a lemon yellow blouse with a flounced ruffle, which was slightly droopy, and matching skirt, and a blue poet’s blouse with needlessly long sleeves over matching pants, had to do with the fringy vixens in crimson, black and burgundy dresses and evening tailoring that came later in the show. Gurung did better with the latter group, as well as some gypsy types in velvet devore blouses and dresses.