Prabal Gurung Spring/Summer 2016 photographed by Taylor Aube
As I was walking backstage to shoot Prabal Gurung, I was following neon green arrows on the floor in a poorly lit, enormous space. There was light equipment, riser equipment and big metal boxes surrounding me everywhere. After about two minutes of walking in the dark, I turned the corner to see about 30 monks sitting in a circle. I stopped, stared for a moment, and was overwhelmed with confusion. I thought to myself, “I must have walked too far. Maybe they are here for a convention?” I couldn’t figure out where I was or who these monks were. After an awkward pause, I kept walking and finally discovered the backstage area.
Once I saw the color palette of the collection, everything started making sense. The hues of pastel yellows and powder pinks paired nicely with bold reds and dramatic oranges. My first impression of the backstage looks was a sunset. Gurung’s origins lie across the world in the Himalayan country of Nepal and his background was the influence of the collection. In unison, all of the colors and shapes were an exciting representation of the ambiance of Nepalese culture and the county’s beautiful landscapes.
The show started with the monks chanting in prayer and homage to the earthquake that recently struck Nepal in the Spring. The designer has been using his platform ever since to raise money and awareness for disaster relief in his home country. The monks, in their humble robes, contrasted a room full of Americans and Europeans, which further developed the concept of the collection. Gurung’s inspiration for the show was a mixture of both Eastern and Western culture. “Embroidery and textures are inspired by the artist Laxman Shreshtha and shapes and silhouettes are a feminine take on American sportswear.” The Shreshtha reference was apparent in the pant suit with splashes of color across the top and bottom. The craftsmanship shined through the exquisite details in the splices of fabric, gentle sparkles, heavy beading, swirling sequins, and layered chiffon. One dress had features of topography, as if it were a textured map scaling the size and depth of the Himalayas.
My favorite looks included a four-tier top and skirt combo that came down the runway in yellow and pink. Fringe was present, along with luxurious day-to-night looks that were caressed with sparkles and flare. The finale was three dresses in red, orange and yellow which symbolically brought the collection to an end, similar to the burning orange sky of an afternoon sunset. Just like the designer himself, the sun rises in the east and set in the west – an ever-rotating source of inspiration for years to come.
|New York Fashion Week|