When asked what he most wanted to see come down the runway at Prabal Gurung last night, Billy Porter had a daunting request: “Something fierce!” He was not disappointed. A blend of brightly-colored and intricately-patterned textiles came sashaying down the runway. Eye catching brocades turned simple silhouettes like a tracksuit and an A-line dress into statement pieces, while a feathered cocktail dress garnered visible approval from the front row. While the wares were clearly aesthetically nomadic, they also seemed plucked from different fashion eras. Gurung branched out this season by played with construction more so than in the past. Ruffles around the shoulders and neck stood out in particular. It seems to be a trend this fashion week.
“I have known Prabal from the very beginning of his career,” Ken Downing told The Daily before the show. “I love how he has felt it important to culturally use his own background, and also just kind of really embrace the globe — not only in the models that he casts, but also in the influences that he puts in the clothes.”
Porter was joined in the front row by the likes of Bella Thorne (who caused a frenzy among photographers trying to get a shot of her before the show started), Angela Sarafyan, and Elaine Welteroth. Never one to shy away from politics, prominent activists Tarana Burke (founder of #MeToo) and DeRay Mckesson were in the front row, along with Huma Abedin and Noor Tagouri. “Prabal has such a great way of bringing people together,” mused Brother Veillies designer Aurora James. “It was so amazing to be around other people who are fighting for similar things. And you always see Prabal’s culture peek through in what he’s doing as well, which I think is really beautiful.”
Gurung, perhaps inadvertently, managed to create a party atmosphere. When a Florence + the Machine cover of “Stand By Me” came on, most attendees felt compelled to take selfies of themselves singing along. Perhaps people were just excited (after all, isn’t that the emotion fashion shows should generate?) and love was certainly in the air, with Valentine’s Day around the corner. Porter was overheard saying he will be spending the holiday with his husband of two years and James told the DAILY she and her boyfriend have been collecting flowers in their apartment since the first of the month. Meanwhile Elaine Welteroth was still reveling in a recent trip, having just come back from skiing. “I wasn’t fully off. It was a work-cation,” she explained. “Actually I opted out of skiing because I was stuck on deadline inside when everyone went to the slopes. But I did organize a snowmobiling trip…It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Really!”
See the rest of the collection below.