In just three years, Prabal Gurung has emerged as one of the most exciting designers on the New York fashion scene. He has a flair for drama that is almost unrivaled on the American fashion stage. And this season, he did not disappoint, showing an otherwordly garden of delights in techno fabrics combined with luxe printed silks and Lesage embroideries, to a packed house that included actress Zoe Saldana, DJ Mia Moretti and model Coco Rocha.
From the opening looks -- all-black sculpted capes, neoprene trousers and patent leather peplum jackets with edgy cuts, worn with geometric-shaped sunglasses and leather visors -- there seemed to be some sci-fi inspiration. And there was, of sorts. Gurung said backstage that he was inspired by the creation of the blue rose, once unattainable in nature, which was successfully engineered in a Japanese laboratory in 2009 after 20 years of research.
The duality of roses, both precious and mundane, natural and engineered, inspired Gurung's choice of materials, which ranged from three-dimensional crystal rose beadwork, shredded chiffon and metallic brocades, to iridescent rainbow neoprene, metallic tinsel and molded vinyl.
An engineered blue and white steer's head print (kind of O'Keefe-meets-outer space) emblazoned a silk wool cutaway blazer and flared trousers, and iridescent "oil spill" neoprene panels embellished a black neoprene wool flare coat. An ivory tulle gown with tulle insets was festooned with gold Rococo-style threadwork, sequins and ostrich feathers, and an ivory tulle sleeveless top and skirt embroidered with shredded chiffon, blue vinyl loops and feathers.
This was Prabal Gurung to the max, an incredible show of imagination, craftsmanship and red carpet candy for that special star who can pull it off.
And there's more excitement to come from Gurung this week, when he launches ICB, a new, lower-priced collection.
-- Booth Moore in New York
Top photos: Prabal Gurung's Fall 2012 collection. Credit: Andy Kropa/Getty Images.
Middle photos, left to right: Michelle Harper at the show. Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images. Zoe Saldana; DJ Mia Moretti at the show. Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images.
Bottom photos: Prabal Gurung's Fall 2012 collection. Stephen Chernin/AP.