Prabal Gurung‘s spring/summer 2017 collection for New York Fashion Week was based heavily on My Life on the Road, the latest piece of literature from Gloria Steinem, in which the iconic author discusses her personal experience in the women’s movement. Gurung later had the chance to meet with the author during opening night for the revival of the Broadway rendition of Alice Walker’s groundbreaking novel The Color Purple. According to the designer, he was very taken aback by the experience.
Nevertheless, this show was about the clothes. But even by shifting your focus to that, you’re bombarded by politics at play – not that we’re surprised; Gurung is rather well known for speaking his mind loud and clear whenever politics are concerned, and with the controversial election in the U.S. right now, we expected no less.
The New York-based designer designed a shirt for the Hillary Clinton campaign, and one step further, he created one silk dress that was remarkable in many ways. At first glance, the dress is especially beautiful, but upon closer inspection, you might actually notice that the fabric is actually made up from prints of speeches that have been given by prominent women in the political field; on other garments this trend was continued by using quotes on ribbons that trimmed a group of garments.
Gurung really took his concept and manipulated it in a unique way. He featured and focused on powerful women that have been crucial pieces in the advancement of women in society and created garments in soft silks and flowing fabrics, showing that femininity and strength need not be different entities.
There were a few tailored pieces, in outerwear and a couple pairs of pants, but other than that, it was the prints and silhouettes that brought in an edgy strength that abstractly captured the successes of the women being spotlighted.
For women looking to display the words proudly for all to see, Gurung showed some graphic tees featuring the quotes right on the front, to be a bit more blatant than the speech-patterned dresses, as well as a pair of trousers sporting the famous quote from Susan B. Anthony, “they threw things at me then but they were not roses.”
But there were also a great many pieces without the political words as well. Many of the lovely dresses in luscious silk charmeuse were simply lovely; even without the quotes printed on them, they fit right into the collection, managing to exude a great deal of that woman power that we love about this collection.
Even better, where we tend to see gowns finishing out a show, Gurung opted to show pantsuits. And honestly, it was a smart decision. What better way to celebrate the strong female presence in professional politics than to show one of the most beloved and best-worn silhouettes of this group of women? Feminism has never looked as good as it did on Gurung’s fashion week runway.
Photos courtesy of Vogue