Talk about a good get.
Prabal Gurung, American fashion’s flag bearer for liberty, equality and justice for all, had New York Gov. Kathy Hochul front row at his show Wednesday night.
In her first days on the job, after taking over for Andrew Cuomo when he resigned in the wake of sexual harassment claims, Hochul showed up not only for Gurung, but for the industry.
“Your success is going to be a barometer of our success,” she told Gurung backstage before the show, dressed in a colorful floral sheath by the Nepalese American designer. “So we can say yes, yes to the world that we continue to be the fashion capital of the planet.”
“You make me look good,” Gurung told the governor, complimenting her look.
“I know you dressed some of my favorite people…Kamala [Harris], Michelle [Obama] and others, you seem to do well with political women,” she responded.
“Because they inspire me,” said Gurung, who for all the dirty business of politics has never lost the faith: “As an immigrant, I am still impressed by the resilience, optimism and hope of New York.”
Masked up for his show in a park at the tip of Manhattan looking at both The Tribute in Light and the Statue of Liberty, his words resonated. The collection that came down the runway was also a beacon — one of his finest since he started in 2009.
Colorful, full of energy, easy-to-wear with a remarkable new lightness, it could take Gurung to the next level, from niche to more commercial success — if the timing is right.
He let loose with warp floral print and Highlighter hue nylon anoraks, capes, trucker jackets, bustier tops, utility trousers and midriff-baring bubble minidresses that were casual, easy and fun enough to open up the brand to a younger customer. (His presence at the Met Gala next week, where he’s dressing several celebs, should also help with the awareness factor.)
Gurung also liberated the power suit, with tropic-color petal cut blazers and wrap minis, oversize shirts and matching shorts, and a tailored-vest-meets bubble dress, all mixed up on the runway without any concern for gender. Sensual draped silk T-shirts and sarongs, sweatshirt dresses and glam-cut organza “fur” jackets added to the strong separates game.
“I want to show what the world could look like with different kinds of beauty,” he said of his inclusive casting and styling choices.
Not forgetting his signatures, a crisp white poplin drop waist tea dress with his undone dressmaker buttons, and a hot pink and graffiti print tulle crop top paired with draped fan detail ball skirt, were pure American glamour.
“Who gets to be an American?” Prabal Gurung.