Hosting his show, which was much smaller and more intimate than previous ones, at the legendary Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, Prabal Gurung set the tone of his collection, which, according to the designer, was a celebration of New York City. It was highlighted by the live piano performance of Colin Huggins, considered the city’s real “piano man,” thanks to his outdoor performances at monuments and parks.

“New York is more than a place, it’s a feeling,” said the designer backstage before the show, describing how when he came from Nepal as a young man he found a creative energy that made him decide to call the city home.

The uptown glamour of New York definitely inspired his fall lineup, which focused mainly on eveningwear that was injected with a high dose of sensuality.

While he opened the show with quite simple dresses and separates with a graphic quality, including a pretty black-and-white maxi coat worn over a silk suit with a macro metallic button, Gurung soon indulged in a flamboyant, eclectic extravaganza. There was a leopard patterned coat, a wrap dress with a cutout at the waist with upholstery-like florals rendered on a metallic-foil fabric, checkered motifs and an abundance of colorful feathers. The results were mixed. If a dark chocolate high-slit dress with a wrap detail at the bodice and a cascade of micro crystal embroideries looked modern and chic, a range of draped, foulard-like asymmetric styles, as well as some vaporous tulle designs, didn’t feel so fresh.

The best looks came when Gurung explored a more urban, contemporary sensibility, for example, by pairing one of his rich and plush sweaters that exuded artisanal luxury with a plaid sarong-like skirt, or when he combined two different checkered motifs on a sophisticated draped frock for day.

After all, isn’t that sense of ready-to-go, immediate and spontaneous refinement what makes the New York style so special?

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