Prabal Gurung introduced military propriety to New York Fashion Week with a show that had the audience salivating over uniforms, bondage and sabre-sharp footwear.
The designer has a busier fashion week than most—over the next two days, he’ll launch his Love collaboration for Target and show his new line for ICB. But he still found time to create one of his most powerful, luxurious collections yet.
It was tough yet feminine from the get-go, starting with an extreme-peplumed jacket in olive-green wool. Dresses, more jackets and a number of chunky knits followed, all with torso-framing leather harnesses. Heavy folkloric embroidery gave a body-armour feel to a parka and strapless dress, while officer-worthy epaulettes and chain detailing finished off a number of liquid draped dresses.
A trio of finale gowns in red, olive and navy satin whipped into view with midriff cutouts, thigh-high slashes, and the same bandolier harnesses from earlier in the show. Weaponised eveningwear—that’s an idea.
Backstage, Gurung said he based the prints and embroideries on the traditional garb adopted by members of Asgarda, a Ukrainian women’s separatist group. Members of the sect have retreated into the Carpathian Mountains to emulate the mythological Amazons, training in martial arts and pursuing a life free from men, trafficking and oppression.
But the collection also honoured someone closer to home: ‘Mom, this one’s for you,’ the show notes read.
‘The whole thing was about empowerment,’ a visibly overcome Gurung said backstage after the show. ‘I’m sure every son says that about their mother, but I don’t think there’s anyone in my life more empowered. She’s been through a lot and [I admire] her strength as a woman.’