“Spring 2023 is a celebration of people who are often unseen but monitored, watched, scrutinized,” Prabal Gurung said backstage about his spring collection show. “In this trying time — a slightly dystopian time, I think — hope and optimism was not enough, the vigilance, alertness is more. Where I found this refuge was when I went with my nephew to Brooklyn to a rave.…I had a feeling in my gut — if I’m ever in a doubt about the world, hope is in the youth. It’s a celebration of the colorful.”
The designer was inspired by the exuberant, inclusive party-going crowd, “in full regalia celebrating,” and boldly tapped into rave culture to celebrate “the misfits” or, rather, individually through a cast of “characters” clad in tulle, sequins, revealing sheer layers, feathers, bright, bold colors and hallucinogenic florals. The designer played into juxtapositions, noting the couture-like 3D draped flower on an acid-washed denim skirt and the undone sensibility of his lineup, displayed through shoulder-baring, drapey blouses, low-slung, sheer suiting with boudoir accents, and his show-closing layered tulle gowns. These were looks made to turn heads — but the overall lineup felt more like eccentric costumes due to Vex Latex gloves, stockings and neon strappy sandals.
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While the collection lacked his signature, streamlined take on power dressing, Gurung’s messaging was unwavering. “What’s the point of having a position that I have — whatever little that is — if I can’t show the world there are different versions of beauty through clothes and people?” the designer questioned.
Launch Gallery: Prabal Gurung RTW Spring 2023