Prabal Gurung explores impermanence at NYFW

New York: Does a butterfly know it was once a caterpillar? How do we fill those fleeting moments between beginning and end, joy and despair?

With moody luxury clothes, of course.

Prabal Gurung was thinking deeply this season. He installed a mirrored square runway reflecting an opulent blue light display at the main branch of the New York Public Library for a fashion week show Friday exploring the Buddhist concept of “anichya,” or impermanence.

In butterfly motifs, wool jackets and hues of vermilion, saffron, burgundy and dusty pinks, Gurung was thinking of his homeland, Nepal, where he hasn’t been since before the pandemic. He was motivated by a 10-day meditative retreat he recently experienced to “silence everything.”

“In Nepal, we talk about it all the time, what is present and how soon it can go,” he told The Associated Press in a backstage interview. “And there’s actually an optimism to that, especially during these challenging times.”

The idea, in part, was finding hope “in the dark places,” he said. “There’s light after darkness.”

His silhouettes were sharper and longer this time around. His asymmetry challenged the idea of harmony. He draped softly and provided sharp angles at the same time. There were fluid, gliding skirts, wool jackets and glitzy golds and crystals.

In short, Gurung explained, New York Fashion Week for him was a “magical, mystery journey. An inward spiritual journey” taken at night back home in Nepal.

Having grown up with “impermanence,” Gurung said, he wanted to embrace the notion that nothing is fixed but constant shifts need not be feared. They must be embraced, he said, and he’s got just the right clothes for the job.

Image courtesy of (Image: The Toronto Star)

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