Prabal Gurung is one of a select group of artists today who can actually speak through clothing. He uses it as a true art form that blurs the lines between functionality and opulence. The tears of his heart bleed through the seams of each garment. This is no small feat. It’s a space where so many seek to exist, but can’t because they lack the expertise and vision that Gurung so seamlessly executes.
What I appreciate most about Gurung is that his collections are not down-your-throat, justice pushers. They satisfy the assignment that is at hand while signifying a time and place in history. They’re thought-provoking but “in the most editorial way”.
For his Spring 2022 RTW collection, Prabal aimed to explore the boundaries and barriers of gender and beauty. His playfulness with gender constructs is evident in the choices of models to garments. He spent his summer at trans rallies and protests where he likely witnessed how other people live and by what lengths they go to, in order to merely exist in the world.
“A girl or a woman, whoever chooses to identify as one… is the most unnerving for patriarchy.”
My favourite looks from the show are relaxed spins on sophisticated couture pieces. The colour story is very eighties but very fitting to the times and trends of today. I, myself, am digging the whimsical aesthetic of this collection.
The clean, earthy look lends itself to the lively aesthetic that underscores the meaning behind the show. The delicious pistachio green splashed over look 5 is an eye grabber. It holds true to the spring vibe without limiting itself to a "requirement" of a spring collection.
The paradox of look 7 lies in the structured fluidity of the tailoring and drapery. It doesn't have to be of saturated colour by any means necessary. The cut, the shape, and the movement are what speak to the both the message and the mindset.
Coming back to the earthy, natural tones is look 10, which is a suit, adorned with a beautiful pastel floral print. It gives off that vintage American vibe, with its diluted navy blue tone.
And finally, my absolute favourite look of the entire collection is look 45. A true wonder indeed. This is spring personified. It's got the hype and appeal of fall fashion, but within a springtime narrative. I am absolutely a fall-over-spring type of person. I feel like the layering that fall fashion summons is far more editorial and imaginary than spring fashion. This is a mind-changer indeed. I love the silky, greyish blue top with the sherbet yellow suit. It's such a vision. The movement of the top is what gives the structure of the suit more power. It's like water within a titanium box. It's ever move is captured in high focus.
The show was invigorating because there was always a moment of unexpectedness. What was going to come out next? And on who? The models were treated like the canvases they are but it was no surprise that Gurung was handpicking his model’s outfits. He wanted to tell a story that was drenched in resonance to the modern American, one that is not restricted to the bounds of gender constructs, societal expectations and community judgement.
Equality is not hard to achieve. It’s communicating one another’s values and feelings that gets lost in the waves. I appreciate Gurung for putting his name, brand and hard work on the line to give voices to the voiceless.