‘Solitude is the biggest luxury’

Designer Prabal Gurung opens up on his love for the arts and Indian women 

Prabal Gurung with Ceclia Morelli Parekh 

When a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25 last year, Prabal Gurung marshalled quickly, using his social media prowess to call for donations. Since then, about a million dollars have been raised for the quake’s victims by the Shikshya Foundation Nepal, on the board of which the designer sits. The foundation also aims to bring education to girls in Nepal, seeking to turn them into a critical mass of leaders.
“Whether you have an audience of one or a hundred or a million – it doesn’t matter, I just want to divert all the attention coming my way to be able to give it to someone, who really needs it. It makes what I do worthwhile. Doing everything for yourself or ego is just not enough. That has given me a new-found meaning and love for my work. Fashion, which is considered so frivolous, has allowed me to do it, I’m very happy about that,” says the designer, who makes his Indian retail foray by debuting his Spring Summer 2017 line exclusively at Le Mill store in Mumbai this month.
I meet him at the chic Colaba store and he apologises for being late because of the traffic. Warm, smiling and affable – he breaks the ice right off the bat, when he says, “I’m all yours!”
Art inclination 

Laxman Shreshtha reimagined by Prabal in his SS 16 line

His Spring 2016 collection had its roots in Nepal. The work of artist Laxman Shreshtha, who Gurung said he grew up studying, became a jacquard on skin-baring evening separates, the orange and yellow Holi powder hues of which formed the show’s warm, lit-from-within palette.
He shares, “I am an avid art follower. I love contemporary arts in America and worldwide and I just love it. That’s one of the thing I hope to get to see. I was just passing by Jehangir Art Gallery and it reminded me of the time. It allowed me to really escape. I am a big art follower whenever I have time, New York is the best place to be when it comes to art.”

Stint at NIFT Mumbai
“How women dress here – this part of the world, it’s very graceful but there’s whole sensuality to it – what is hidden and what is not and what is revealed. There’s a certain ritualistic ceremonial aspect to dressing up which I love about it. Whether you’re dressing for yourself or dressing for others – there’s beauty to it and time taken to it and I love that. The colours, the textures, everything – it’s a big part of who I’m. It’s my heritage. I grew up in India. It’s a huge part of how I design and how I look at things. For my brand there’s always exoticism, mystery and grace, elegance of it with the practicality of New York – those are the two pillars of the brand which function for us. It has really shaped up who I’m.”
Mountain inspiration

Himalayan landscape prints reimagined by Prabal

Time and again his collections have gloried thanks to his stunning re-imagining of the Himalayan landscape prints. “It’s my comfort place. where I find my place, for me solitude is the biggest luxury right now. I crave those. The best solitude that I find when I’m up in the mountains. It always takes me back home.”

Other interests
Nightlife is a big part of who Prabal is. “I enjoy to release my energy and letting it loose, chill, hang out and have fun. Nightlife is a big part of New York. I’m very selective about it now.” Besides, the partying he enjoys following art, working out and meditation.

Sheer magnitude

Transparency rules at Spring Summer 2017


Alexander McQueen 




Louis Vuitton



Designers across the board sent out sheer concoctions – be it Louis Vuitton’s long, sheer-yet-discreet dresses or Valentino’s a magical series of handkerchief-hemmed, diaphanous dresses in pinks and sometimes also embroidered with patterns of birds. Bouchra Jarrar at Lanvin injected sexiness into her otherwise pretty and elegant line by punctuating it with sheer, gauzy lace-trimmed black dresses.


Vidyut Jamwal in Pawan Sachdeva


Aniket Satam



At the recently concluded Amazon India Fashion Week, designer Pawan Sachdeva showcased a sheer bomber seen on his showstopper Vidyut Jamwal, designer Aniket Satam flirted with transparency in one of his ensembles which he accented with a cutesy cat accent. Rina Dhaka, Ilk, Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan and Pankaj and Nidhi too showcased sheer concoctions in their Spring Summer 2016 lines.


Pankaj and Nidhi


Not So Serious by Pallavi Mohan 

Be Miss Metallica this summer!

Metallics rule at the recently concluded Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017


Louis Vuitton

Balmain army shed its armour and became one of the SS17 highlights thanks to its chainmailva va voom dresses. Olivier Rousteing showed sequinned encrusted, graphic evening wear, which will be the toast of the caviar circle come awards season.


Alexandre Vauthier treated his black rock chick outfits with gold hardware accents and Haider Ackermann paired a crisp white shirt with a pair of two-toned metallic trousers. Elie Saab‘s gold tuxedo stood out and so did a racy, sports-inspired Mugler number.

Elie Saab


Haider Ackermann

Anthony Vaccarello at YSL struck a delicate balance in staying true to his core aesthetic, revisiting the label’s hallowed archive and taking forward his predecessor Hedi Slimane‘s glam rock sensibility. His array of shiny leather dresses, gold lame skirts and embellished one-shoulder tops worn with long fringed dangler earrings – screamed the quintessential femme fatale.

Milan highlights

Spring Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collections at Milan Fashion Week (MFW) bring back the much-needed decadence…

‘More is more’ was the mantra echoing across Milanese runways. Be it the eccentricity of Gucci’s dramatic pleated ruffles and rainbow dresses or the cinematic drama of Prada’s marabou feathers accenting the clutches, skirts and heels or Fendi’s floaty, glimmering aprons – designers didn’t shy away from the zeitgeist of daring-do. Given the state of economy and socio-political turmoil across continents – style mavens decided to focus on bringing the elegance back into our closets. Need proof? Have a look at Gucci’s fur coat which came with the label’s now-signature L’aveugle pour amour logo, which means blind for love. Dolce and Gabbana’s line was an ode to all things Italian – pasta, gelato and the all-pervading Catholic imagery. Their vibrant runway had girls with smiling, happy faces, who added allure to bejewelled, embellished jackets and skirts.
Gingham which was a major trend at New York and London fashion weeks also spilled into Milan seen at Au Jour Le Jour, who juxtaposed it with sequins and ruffles and Blumarine whose closing dress was a breezy number in soft grid prints. Another highlight was Giamba showcased at Palazzo Litta, a Baroque palace in Milan which dates back to 17th century. Valli’s lace and jacquard mini dresses and floor-length tiered numbers with sequin applique embroideries had a sensual undercurrent. Talking of sensuality, designer Philipp Plein’s line titled, Alice in Ghettoland had models sporting faded wash denims accented with gold chains and layered with track jackets, metallic croc suits. Here’s the low-down on collection which stood out…

Vibe: A 70’s nightclub with boudoir-pink velvet banquettes and mirrors

Highlight: A magpie-at-heart, designer Alessandro Michele toyed with the thought of being well-dressed-yet-devastated. In fact, there was one tiered evening dress that had a giant red embroidered heart, pierced with a jewelled dagger on the front, and the numerals ‘XXV’. Knife-pleated ruffles were a recurring motif, sometimes accenting a one-shoulder dress and other times, adding whimsy to a metallic twin-set with a pussy-bow collar. A dark, crestfallen undertone could be sensed as words like ‘Cemetery’ came inscribed on the belts. The Gucci eccentrics completed their looks with oversized dramatic, three-cornered hats, 70s sequinned sunnies and headscarves. Michele is a true poet and a genius stylist and this potent cocktail of intellect and style makes the label quite the talking point it’s become over the last few seasons!

Vibe: Utilitarian meets Baroque

Highlight: Trust Karl Lagerfeld to mix ideas and influences, decades and thought processes and present them like a soul-searing collage. Fendi show gloried thanks to the on-trend stripes and knitted sock booties. There were ribbon-tied aprons of elaborate gilded fabric over gathered pants; the artfully executed leather flower embroidery was extrapolated onto a khaki jacket and a trenchcoat, ’20s-style silk lingerie-like pieces had butterflies accents on their bodices. The most charming among them all were organza blouses with scalloped edges running around the shoulders and sleeves. The label’s hottest ticket – the guitar strap handbags were presented with floral accents.

Vibe: Art Deco prints meet marabou feathers

Highlight: Miuccia Prada may have lost her edge over the last few seasons but she bounced back with a vengeance. She referenced her on archive and brought back 20s and 30s Art Deco prints, which she had showcased in the mid-90s. The visionary designer, who’s always debated the very notion of beauty and the role of fashion and its anthropological relevance, presented an elegant collection embellished with marabou feathered skirts, knee-length box pleated kilts, fit and flared mini dresses and coats embellished with rhinestones. The envelope clutches which models held very close to their body brought to mind a chic scholar with a strong sense of identity.

Dolce & Gabbana
Vibe: Sicilian lifestyle

Highlights: Dolce and Gabbana clearly love their pasta and gelato as they printed both on their charming party dresses. The show opened with an embellished jacket skirt combo which had bejewelled buttons, cross earrings and floral pumps.  Tiaras, headscarves tied into a bow, chunky open-toe platforms added to the glitzy finish. There were prints galore from guitar and parachute  to Baroque florals which punctuated their signature black lace dresses. The label has always been about celebrating the Italian Good Life and this heartwarming line was an ode to that spirit.

Exaggerated sleeves at Milan

Milanese designers toy with dramatic sleeve lengths for SS17…


Aquilano Rimondi


Au Jour Le Jour





At the recently-concluded Milan Fashion Week SS17, designers across the board focused on sleeves – sometimes exaggerating them long enough to hide the palms and other times, extending them so long that they mirrored an additional appendage, which swayed as models strutted down the runway. At Au Jour Le Jour, designer sent out a ombre sequinned jumper with billowing sleeves, at Aquilano Rimondi, a pin-striped shirtdress had prolonged sleeves and the artisanal Marni sent out many looks with pronounced versions. Perhaps an off-shoot of the anti-fit trend, looks like the trend is here to stay!

Gingham glamazon

The classic English staple makes its presence felt on the Spring Summer 2017 runway


Carolina Herrera


Molly Goddard


Peter Pilotto

Gingham checks are a closet staple and never season-dependent. In an interface with Voguerunway.com’s Sarah Mower, designer Christopher Kane whose label who celebrate 10 years in business this month, shared, “My mum’s uniform at school was brilliant; it was gingham. Gingham can be put into completely different contexts, poor and rich. Our aunties were all strong, independent, funny people, and just really normal.” After Carolina Herrera presented two monochrome gingham off-shoulder dresses at New York Fashion Week, gingham was also aplenty at London Fashion Week too starting with House of Holland who used it on tiered, ruffled dresses, Molly Goddard who presented it in a sheer format and Peter Pilotto who peppered it with crocodile motifs.

Gown-gawking at Emmys 2016

The low-down on some of the most arresting gowns on the red carpet…
Emmys 2016 red carpet was a riot of colours – bright red, pale gold, forest green, highlighter yellow and muted ivory – some accented with dramatic ruffles, others with cut-out details. Most actresses played safe and opted for feminine silhouettes and decidedly pretty aesthetic. Ruffles, head-to-toe fully sequinned looks and applique embroidery were the three major recurring trends which emerged.
Ravishing in red

Priyanka Chopra rocked a draped red one-shoulder Jason Wu custom gown (“He designed it, and that was it!” she said) with cutouts at the shoulder and waist, plus a matching lip and dazzling Neil Lane earrings.

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra in Jason Wu

Glowing in gold
Emilia Clarke wears a corseted pale gold Atelier Versace chainmail gown with a draped bodice and delicate jewels.

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Emilia Clarke in Atelier Versace

Shimmer & shine
Claire Danes rocked a criss-cross shimmery golden Schiaparelli gown with Forevermark jewelry and bronzed skin.

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Claire Danes in Schiaparelli

Yellow fever
Taraji P Henson opted for a fitted highlighter-yellow custom Vera Wang Collection gown with Lorraine Schwartz jewels, an Edie Parker clutch and Jimmy Choo heels.

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Taraji P. Henson in Vera Wang

Playing Alice
Maisie Williams wore a high-neck dress with floral and bunny embroidery, plus butterfly-adorned shoes, a triangular clutch and her new BFF tattoo.

Actress Maisie WIlliams arrives at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California

Actress Maisie Williams 

Regal charm
Better known as Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, Michelle Dockery picked an Oscar de la Renta gown with tiered textured white ruffles trimmed in black piping, plus a black crystal belt, simple Stuart Weitzman heels and Harry Winston jewellery.


Actress Michelle Dockery 

Shine on!
Padma Lakshmi slayed in her long sleeve silver sequin Naeem Khan gown, topped with a bright pink lip.

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Padma Lakshmi in Naeem Khan