Fashion enthusiasts braved the rain to attend Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2024 show on Roosevelt Island. Known for his bold use of color and print, Gurung’s latest collection combined a vibrant palette with a focus on materiality and technique. Inspired by a recent trip to India, where he visited his grandmother and found inspiration in her home’s patinaed wallpaper and his aunts’ fusion of saris with designer jackets, Gurung sought to bring a fresh perspective to the fashion world.
“In the culture, there’s so much conversation about East meeting West, but it’s time the West meets the East,” Gurung declared in a statement. He aimed to blend elements of traditional Eastern wear into contemporary Western ready-to-wear, introducing sculptural tops inspired by Indian folk dancers’ clothing and reimagined prints from his grandmother’s wallpaper.
Gurung emphasized the importance of dialogue and understanding in the fashion world. He reflected on cultural appropriation and the fear that often surrounds it, encouraging a world where curiosity is embraced and mistakes are a part of the learning process. His collection celebrated diversity and cultural exchange.
The Spring 2024 collection marked a new direction for Gurung’s brand. Linen became a focal point, explored in various forms, from starched to washed, pleated to hand-embroidered. Gurung rediscovered his love for linen, aiming to redefine its perception in the American fashion scene.
The collection was inspired by his desire to blend traditional Eastern designs with Western outerwear.
In a notable shift, Gurung moved towards daywear, departing from his classic evening designs. The collection featured fitted tops paired with loose trousers, mid-calf hemlines, and boxy jackets. Even the more formal looks exuded an aura of occasional elegance rather than traditional red carpet glamour.
Gurung’s personal connection to the collection was evident in the inspiration he drew from his upbringing and cultural experiences. Born in Singapore, raised in Kathmandu, and working in New Delhi before moving to New York, Gurung experienced feelings of “rootlessness” and “unbelonging.” A visit to India rekindled cherished memories and inspired patterns in the collection, based on traditional Nepali and Indian garments. Gurung aimed to bridge the gap between East and West, embracing a shift in international power dynamics.
The fashion industry has witnessed Gurung’s evolution into a socially conscious designer, using his shows as platforms for politics and advocacy. However, this season’s collection brought forth a return to the essence of the designer himself. Gurung’s multicultural background and experiences have contributed to his unique perspective on fashion, encapsulated in his theme.
Gurung’s Spring 2024 collection showcased an unexpected side of the designer, with more ease and modernity in his designs. Humble fabrics like denim and linen allowed for new shapes and textures, making the collection more down-to-earth while maintaining its modern flair. Gurung’s runway show faced challenges due to the rain, but in the end, it only seemed to water his soul and reinforce the collective spirit of the fashion world.
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