Prabal Gurung Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

It’s always an amazing sight to witness a designer in full stride. That was precisely the feeling the entire industry experienced watching Prabal Gurung’s fall 2012 collection, one that dealt primarily with duplicity and the interplay between light and dark, heaven and hell. This was a collection of collaborations as well; the visors-meets-arch bishop’s caps were designed by avant-garde milliner, Philip Treacy.

The show opened in a palette of solid black, which made each piece in the first section of the show about texture, fabric choice, and silhouette. I loved the two coats and shift dress with panels of neoprene that looked as if they were taken from the Aurora Borealis display in the arctic.

The “blue period,” my personal favorite, was inspired by the invention of the Blue Rose in Japan. As interesting a reference as this is, Gurung did not stop here, nor did he make anything at all too literal. Instead he created striking graphic prints in azure and obsidian blues, distorting the floral reference and juxtaposing it with kaleidoscopic images of Ram’s skulls à la Georgia O’Keeffe.

The final phase of this collection was white, sheer, and paved with gold. Although the use of what looked like gold lamé read a bit cheap, the embroidery, marabou embellishments, and well-designed prints were luxurious. A subtle nod to Ricardo Tisci’s work at Givenchy made this collection both distinct and self-aware. Gurung is definitely a design-force to watch out for. He’s both sensitive to his own aesthetic, and trends in the market, all the while attending to the needs of his customers.