You might think that a show launched by monks chanting would make for a sedate presentation, but Prabal Gurung defied expectations by unleashing an electrifying lineup for Spring/Summer 2016. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Kathmandu, Nepal to its core in April had a similar effect on the Nepalese designer. Gurung concentrated his efforts on fundraising after the earthquake, and saw his spring collection as the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for relief. With a vibrant collection that paid homage to Nepal’s stunning scenery and earthy culture, he managed to achieve something beyond the expected. For its somber origin story, this collection was strikingly optimistic and completely gorgeous to boot.
A beautiful off-shoulder white dress led the presentation, touched with painterly applications of cream, orange, and crimson duchesse satin. Artistic elements were at the forefront of each look — from “brushstroke” details to sliced-and-reassembled sectioning. Every look benefitted from some form of intricate design work, which gave the impression that Gurung’s inventiveness knows no bounds. Knitwear was especially covetable and complex, ranging from off-shoulder versions striped with shades of dayglo orange and fuchsia to cutout shoulders decorated with football stitching, contrast stripes, and silk paneling. Feminine dresses were also on display, featuring sheer fabrics and pussy bows, tiered chiffon layers, fringe, and more.
One show-stopping look appeared to be an interlocked Escher print from afar, but was actually made from extremely intricate multi-colored embroidery. Sequined looks presented swirling hues atop cream-colored backgrounds, while a saffron maxi slip dress and cheerful orange gown closed the show. Citrus shades and deep metallics spoke to Nepal’s influence on the collection, but it was Gurung’s clever attention to detail that made this more than a homage.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree