Fashion is inherently political. We all wear clothes on our backs and those who don’t are making a much bigger statement than the rest. We consume fashion, we vote with our dollar (insert relevant currency here) and we chose to project an image based on or raging against societal rules and values. Prabal Gurung has been pretty vocal about his political beliefs and this upcoming election is the very first in which he will vote as an American citizen. He’s even contributed a t-shirt design to support Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That being said, you don’t really need to know any of the above, or even care, to appreciate his latest collection. In many ways, it was Gurung on-message. It just so happens that his message was actually printed onto the collection itself.
At first glance, this was Gurung in his newly found relaxed mode. Roomy and slightly sheer cashmere sweaters with floral silk applique or ostrich feather embroidery were worn loosely off the shoulder over silk handkerchief skirts or cropped slim trousers. A white leather skirt was shredded, each panel held together by metallic rings – teamed with a crisp white blouse it was a contender for the most subdued look we’ve seen so far from the designer. It worked, and so did the pair of silk pleated palazzo trousers worn under matching gowns. And speaking of work, how about the wide-legged trouser suits with which he closed the show? Get it? Pantsuits that a certain someone tends to favour and might need a lot more in her wardrobe come November. Gurung took things a step further, printing quotes by prominent women on ribbons that criss-crossed bias-cut dresses and hang loose by the sides. The contrasting cuffs on a pair of trousers were printed with, “Nothing More…Nothing Less…”, a sequinned silk t-shirt featured the American suffragette Susan B. Anthony’s quote, “They threw things at me then but they were not roses” and the closing black tailored suit had the poet Rupi Kaur’s famous line from Milk And Honey: “Our backs tell the story no books have the spine to carry.” And just like that, Maya Angelou’s gorgeous voice started reading Phenomenal Woman.