Prabal Gurung Spring Summer 2022 at New York Fashion Week

AMERICAN GIRL.

THE SPRING 2022 COLLECTION REIMAGINES CANONICAL IDEAS OF NATIONALITY, GENDER, AND BEAUTY THROUGH MY LENS OF UNABASHED OPTIMISM AND UNADULTERATED HOPE. AMERICA HAS ALWAYS BEEN A WOMAN – BUT SHE HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN TREATED BEAUTIFULLY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE THE MOST ESSENTIAL PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY? WHAT IS FEMININE? WHAT IS AMERICAN? AND WHO GETS TO BE IT ALL – OR NONE OF IT?

THE MARCHES, PROTESTS, AND LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY IN THE PAST YEAR HAVE SERVED AS CONTINUED SOURCES OF INSPIRATION – AFTER ALL, IT’S TOO OFTEN THAT UNWANTING VICTIMS ARE THE ONES TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS WE’RE ALL HANDED. THIS ISN’T NEW: I’VE ALWAYS BEEN INSPIRED BY WOMEN AS WELL AS MY FEMININE-LEANING FRIENDS; THOSE WHO BOLDLY DEFINE WHAT “FEMININE” IN ITSELF IS, HOW “BEAUTIFUL” IS SHAPED, WHO SHOULD CONTROL HER OWN BODY, AND WHICH VOICES MUST BE HEARD TO CHALLENGE EVERY FORM OF INJUSTICE.

SO, THE LAST YEAR HAS PUNCTUATED FOR ME THAT THOSE WHO MAY HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN MISLABELED AS WEAK ARE ACTUALLY OUR GREATEST WEAPON. WE’VE LEARNED IN THE WAR FOR WHAT’S RIGHT THAT TITLES DO NOT DICTATE POWER – ONLY AUTHENTICITY CAN. WE’VE SEEN THAT ON SCREENS, FAME NEVER LASTS – ONLY CREDIBILITY CAN. WE’VE WITNESSED HOW BRUTE FORCE OFTEN MISSES THE REAL PROBLEM – SOMETHING ONLY VULNERABILITY CAN RESOLVE. AND WE’VE EXPERIENCED HOW SOMETIMES, THE ONLY SOLUTION TO BROAD INJUSTICE IS TO DISMANTLE, TO REBUILD FROM SCRATCH, TO CREATE – AND ONLY A WOMAN CAN DO THAT. A GIRL OR A WOMAN, WHOEVER CHOOSES TO IDENTIFY AS ONE, IN THEIR INDIVIDUALLY – DEFINED FULL FEMININE GLORY IS THE MOST UNNERVING FOR PATRIARCHY. IT SCARES THEM. IT THREATENS THEM. AND MOST OF ALL, THEY KNOW IT CAN OVERCOME THEM.

THIS MADE ME RECONCILE MY OWN INDIVIDUALITY AND FREEDOM TO LIVE MY AUTHENTIC LIFE IN NEW YORK CITY – A LIFE THAT IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE THAT ALLOWED ME TO HAVE THESE LIBERTIES. NEW YORK CITY UNVEILS THE TRUE PROMISE AND POTENTIAL OF AMERICA, THE BEAUTIFUL: A CITY THAT IS THE HEARTBEAT OF THE COUNTRY AND REPRESENTS WHAT IT COULD – AND SHOULD – BE. A PLACE BUILT ON INNOVATION, OPTIMISM, AND RESILIENCE.

I LOVE – AND ALWAYS HAVE LOVED – WOMEN’S CLOTHING. IT’S SO EASY TO TAKE A MAN’S SUIT, PUT IT ON A WOMAN, AND SAY IT’S A “POWER SUIT.” BUT IT’S MUCH MORE SUBVERSIVE TO CREATE A SUIT WITH FEMININITY FIRST, TO RECOGNIZE A “NEW POWER” THAT WAS ALWAYS THERE, SIMPLY BY SILHOUETTING IT. SO THESE CLASSICS ARE ENVISIONED WITH A NEW LENS ENCOMPASSING CONFIDENCE, BOLDNESS, AND FEARLESSNESS. PIECES ARE ROOTED IN AMERICAN SPORTSWEAR SENSIBILITY WITH A COUTURE TWIST WHILE CELEBRATING NEW YORK AS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF INSPIRATION: THE LIGHTS OF THE CITY REFLECTED IN NEON COTTON GINGHAM; DELICATE HAND-SHREDDED ORGANZA TO MIMIC FUR IN STRONG SILHOUETTES; CONSCIOUSLY ELEVATING FEMININE STAPLES WITH STRUCTURE WITH A SENSE OF FLUIDITY WHERE UTILITARIAN MEETS EXTREME FEMININITY.

I CONSIDER IT A CEREMONIAL RITUAL AND IMPERATIVE FOR ALL OF US TO REFLECT UPON AND REDISCOVER WHO WE ARE. LET THAT UNAPOLOGETIC YOU BE THE FOREFRONT: THE ONE YOU SOUND LIKE WHEN NO ONE’S LISTENING; THE ONE YOU LOOK LIKE WHEN NO ONE’S WATCHING; THE ONE YOU BECOME WHEN YOU’RE DREAMING. I DEDICATE THIS COLLECTION TO THOSE WHO ARE UNABASHEDLY AND AUTHENTICALLY THEMSELVES IN MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT. AND, TO THE GREATEST WOMAN I’VE EVER KNOWN, MY MOTHER: WHO ALWAYS MADE SURE THAT I HAD THE PERFECT SHADE OF LIPSTICK BECAUSE, AS ROBIN GIVHAN SAID, “TO BE GIRLISH IS TO BE POWERFUL, BECAUSE POWER IS REDEFINED”.

Notes From Press Release Prabal Gurung

All images Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Photographer Dan Lucca

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