Three weeks ago I began revisiting the best 2013 Resort collections with the amazing Valentino! After a small hiatus (I have been travelling - a lot!) I am back to continue my 2013 Resort Refreshers - and what better way than looking at exciting designer, Prabal Gurung.
After being born in Singapore, raised in Kathmandu, working in New Delhi and studying in New York, Prabal Gurung brings to his designs his own eclectic mix of culture and influence. Gurung's designs are exciting and appealing, and most importantly, accessible and original in a ready-to-wear market flooded with mediocrity and over design.
Resort collections embody a sense of freedom and relaxation, all while being benchmarked against an expectation of flawless style and utter sophistication. It is a difficult balancing act and one that can encourage innovation or lull one into uncertainty. Thankfully, Prabal Gurung's 2013 collection was a clear demonstration of the allure of the Resort philosophy - innovative, feminine, uninhibited and ultimately, completely stylish. These are pieces to be envied and pieces that every woman wants to be seen in.
Empowered with clear, strong lines and bold design, the Prabal Gurung woman enjoys a sense of self-esteem and desirability.
The look above is tailored and edgy while remaining feminine and individual. The red and black complement the feeling of strength and power, while the contrasting addition of the off-white cut on the skirt softens the overall palette and draws attention across the entire look, rather than emphasising a single focal point. This is important in a look that has many dynamic features, such a the triangle cut in the skirt, the black lining and slithers of exposure on the top, or the dramatic above-elbow cut sleeves - the amazing killer heels also compete and demand attention!
Can I just say, the looks above and below I love in every way, shape and form? Well, I do. Never one to shy away from pattern or print, Prabal Gurung is able to use shape and colour to create pieces that one wants to wear and to feel sexy in, all while not losing that sense of refinement and poise that one wants to feel when wearing clothes of eternal beauty and style.
The above look is one of conflicting opinions - black versus white, yellow versus black, playful peplum versus edgy strappy heels - yet, managed together, the look produces a striking reality of fashion consciousness. The mesmerising contrasting pattern on the skirt lifts the skirt from the plain and simple and injects enthusiasm into the bottom half of the look without overdoing it. There is a lot going on in the look - the colours, the patterns, the prints and the shapes - but somehow, it works beautifully. The softness of the yellow and the white above allows the more adventurous design in the heels and skirt below, and once again, Gurung has created a platform for individual expression.
Who doesn't love shortie shorts? What's more, who doesn't love shortie shorts with killer heels? The answer is, nobody. Certainly not Prabal Gurung. The looks above and below ooze Resort appeal, and once again, Gurung has used prints to add punchy exuberance to the overall feel of the look. Each look is youthful and dynamic, yet retains that expensive, impeccably tailored narrative that runs through the Prabal Gurung collection. And once again, Gurung's pumps are clearly to die for. Hot.
Ok, perhaps not each of Prabal Gurung's pieces are immediately destined for 'ready to wear' as you stroll to the Resort bar on a beach in the Cayman's on a warm summer's evening - but a little creative licence needs to be afforded! As I mentioned earlier, Resort collections allow and encourage innovation. The above look ticks all the right boxes. Original, bold, refined and elegant. It's Little Red Riding Hood meets live.by.the.moment.with.not.a.care.in.the.world Heiress. Love it.
Don't let the black pants fool you. This Prabal Gurung girl is bringing sexy back - albeit in a fluffy cutesy girly way. The simple white blousy top, accented with the red outline and the oh so in peplum and the oh so cool above elbow sleeves is totally working for me (as is does for Prabal - it features more than once in the collection). The perfectly tailored black pant is an ideal platform to showcase the top and showcase it it does. A skirt could also work if the need arose!
Once thing you may have noticed is the cohesion that Prabal Gurung demonstrates throughout his collection. No two pieces are the same, but there is a story to be told. This is true of most collections, but sometimes the story becomes too complicated or doesn't have a happy ending. Gurung's 2013 Resort story, to me, is a best seller. Each chapter represents a fresh new take on the plot and leaves the reader on the edge of their seat, wanting for more. In the looks above and below, Gurung has again used a familiar canvas (pencil skirt, high neck top, peplum etc) to express appealing prints, yet each look is new and fresh.
The look above, devoid of colour, represents something new. Although simple, the look embodies a sense of elegance and purpose. Summer nights are calling and it is time for a night on the town. I particularly enjoy Gurung's addition of the pockets on the skirt, which keeps the look from becoming too rigid, and the cut of the skirt just above the knee, which keeps the look from falling within undesirable territory (for which there is a time and place!).
The look below, although essentially similar to previous looks in terms of structural design, again represents something fresh. The sherbert yellow colouring and the lacework on the top are soft and warm and ensure that sense of femininity that every woman wants to feel. The pencil skirt, with the blue floral prints, keep the look from becoming too demure and assists in keeping with the rest of the collection (the skirt is also ultimately very flattering - another essential!).
Prabal Gurung is obviously an exciting designer. There is a clear sensibility in his design aesthetic - original, innovative, wearable, sophisticated - the adjectives could keep on coming. One thing is for sure, Prabal Gurung designs clothes that woman want to wear, and that is surely the greatest indicator of success!