We knew things were different when we walked into the Prabal Gurung show at a warehouse on 33rd street: instead of an empty runway, there was what appeared to be a giant plastic shower curtain surrounding an empty space. There was a strong and sweet odor wafting through -- this, I learned was Gurung's signature scent that he had designed to piped through the space. As The New York Times's Eric Wilson put it, "Eau No."
The lights dimmed and Erik Satie's "Trois Gymnopédies" briefly came over the loud speaker. Then, well, the finale happened: all of the models stormed the stage, and came out all at once. A series of fluorescent lights flickered on, and there was the entire collection before us.
Under the light, the collection seemed almost as if we were in a hospital. The models, standing in two lines completely still, looked like they were behind shrink wrap. The clothes themselves, however, were anything but clinical: there were bright red floral tweeds (with matching lips and sunglasses), an exquisite green dress which bloomed into a giant rose, and a green silk baseball jacket with a matching skirt.
There were even digitally-printed translucent raincoats and skirts -- the latter of which looked like a very chic shower curtain had been wrapped around the model's mid-section.
Accessories, too, were a highlight: wild cat-eye sunglasses with electric trim, razor-and-floral embellished ear cuffs by New York-based jeweler Chris Habana, and armored rings.
Gurung stood out with evening wear, as it is his forte: there was an incredible white silk dress embroidered with Swarovski crystals, and a white and pink duchesse satin column gown with a giant bow tied around the model's neck.
Backstage, on Gurung's mood board, our questions were answered: as inspiration this season, the designer sourced everything from the inside of a hospital corridor to a Tracey Emin neon sculpture.