Nicki Minaj front row in a pastel spangled tulle skirt with iridescent bow in hair, provided preview by way of caricature of what was to come for Prabal Gurung's Spring/Summer 2012 collection. You know, everyone's been loving Minaj, sames goes for Gurung right now. This is a good moment for the Nepalese talent who was head of design at Bill Blass before setting out on his own.
With a camera angling overhead to live stream the show, Gurung sent forth a lively palette of bright purple and turquoise colour-blocked with black and white and engineered floral prints. There wasn't a trace of his signature red to be seen, instead the focus was jewel tones and high concept fabrics. One part Damien Hirst spiral painting, the other, kaleidoscopic bouquet, this pattern was a mirror-imaged explosion, which reappeared throughout the lineup that included both cut out body-conscious dresses and flowing evening looks, as well as peaked shoulder jackets paired with track shorts. There was something charming--and modern--about the athlete-inspired suits. The woven fil coupe lamé pant with its metallic purple paint drips weren't quite as cool as the hand-airbrushed ombre latex drip skirts, but that says something in and of itself.
There were certainly overtones of Alexander McQueen in both the leather and rope harnesses and print, but everyone's thinking McQueen these days. Gurung's always in touch with the cultural fixation of the moment, so odds are this was his conscious gesture to a fan base wild over the Met's latest exhibit. Gurung's smart - smart enough also to offer his girls options that are practical, like an night-time look that could sustain a sprint to catch a cab. The shoe in question? Nicholas Kirkwood's sporty high lucite heel. This season Gurung's girl is futuristic, pretty and put together. She's grown up from last collection's undone moments.