Like last year, Prabal Gurung turned his fashion week debut into a powerful feminist statement by inviting activists to sit front row for his new collection. Last year, it was social icon Gloria Steinem. This year, it was the founder of the #MeToo movement Tarana Burke.
“He’s shown a real interest and desire to amplify the voices of women and women’s issues. He has a real connection to what’s happening in the world around women,” explained Burke about Gurung in an interview with WWD.
Gurung's commendation of strong women didn't stop with the audience. Backstage, empowering signs littered the hallways where models were getting ready. But most notably, the designer's Fall 2018 collection was inspired by "female-dominated societies."
For the silhouettes and hues of his new ready-to-wear line, Gurung looked to Northern India's Gulabi Gang of female activists and China's matriarchal Mouso tribes. They "adorn themselves in pink saris symbolic of their self-proclaimed power and fearlessness," he explained as to why he opted for a pink and red palette.
Cashmere creations in reds and pinks, sarong-like draping and wool knits (handmade in Nepal) were just some of the ways the designer paid tribute to the activists' style. Other textures Gurung incorporated included feathers, sequins, velvet and satin.
Perhaps the most stunning looks of the night included Gurung's eveningwear succession -- metallic ensembles, satin gowns and printed dresses danced beautifully on the runway. With it-girls like Romee Strijd, Ashley Graham and Bella and Gigi Hadid sporting his designs on the catwalk, it's no doubt Gurung will continue to be a major player in the #MeToo creations for the duration of award season.
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