The famed French Post-Impressionist painter, Henri Rousseau, has held particular sway over fashion designers for years. Erdem Moralioglu and Christopher Lemaire (formerly of Hermès) – both talented artists in their own right – have name-checked the painter in recent collections. For Fall/Winter 2016, Prabal Gurung also references his work with an “into the forest” themed collection that plucks from Rousseau’s “Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest” painting – if in name only. Where Rousseau’s Victorian-era woman peeps from beneath the expansive fronds of a lush tropical oasis, Gurung’s forest scene was straight from an icy tundra. His girls were decked out in frosty furs and feather-print frocks, enough to delight even the toniest of tastes.
There is ample surface-appeal to Gurung’s presentation, enough so that if you aren’t paying attention you might miss some of his more stunning details. Naturally, there were enveloping, chunky knits that the frostbitten crowd at New York Fashion Week were dying to get their hands on. Additionally, there were rich, sabled furs in multi-colored patterns that drew the eye in. But look closer and you’ll spot tailored ivory trousers so perfectly cut that they’ll stop you in your tracks, and they’re made even better by rows of fabric-covered Victorian buttons that unbutton to reveal a delicate slice of ankle. That unbuttoned-button motif appears again on a flawless white dress paired with a shaggy, combed fur coat, and again throughout the collection along sleeves and hemlines. That one small detail is so sultry and sublime that it made everything it touched better for its inclusion. Bell sleeves were another important detail, as were asymmetrical seams, but those buttons were everything.
The clothes were not only drop-dead gorgeous, they were interesting, they were new, they were romantic, seductive, feminine, artistic, and nothing short of pure magic.
This is absolutely Gurung’s best collection to date – and that’s saying something. The clothes were not only drop-dead gorgeous, they were interesting, they were new, they were romantic, seductive, feminine, artistic, and nothing short of pure magic. From the fawn and feather prints, rich furs, amorous textures, and dreamy palette sprung a presentation to get lost in.