IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE — PRE-FALL/FALL 2021

  

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ROMANCED BY THE UNEXPECTED BEAUTY AND JOY OF NEW YORK CITY. EACH DAY IS ITS OWN EXHILARATING COURTSHIP, WHERE EVEN THE SIMPLEST PLEASURES FEEL DECADENT: FLOWERS FROM THE BODEGA, MORNING COFFEE CONSUMED WHILE BATTLING RUSH HOUR, OR THE SYMPHONY OF A TAXI RIDE. AFTER TWENTY YEARS, I STILL FIND MYSELF ENAMORED WITH THE SKYLINE.

THE PRE-FALL/FALL 2021 COLLECTION IS MY CONTINUED LOVE LETTER TO NEW YORK. IT CONVEYS THE RESILIENCE, GRIT, PASSION, AND COMPLICATED DEVOTION OF NEW YORKERS. IT IS THE STORY OF MY REKINDLED LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE CITY, SET AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF A POWERFUL SUMMER THAT AWAKENED MY SOUL AND RAISED MY CONSCIOUSNESS. A DARK AND UNRELENTING ROMANCE, THE COLLECTION IS A SONNET TO THE CITY THAT CONTINUES TO CAPTURE MY HEART AND OUR COMMUNITY, WHICH FOUND HOPE AND HUMANITY EVEN IN THE MOST DIFFICULT TIMES.

LIKE MOST LOVE STORIES, IT STARTED WITH A ROSE: A PURE SYMBOL OF LOVE AND BEAUTY, HANDPICKED WITH CARE FROM THE LOCAL CORNER STORE. TOO OFTEN OVERLOOKED OR DEEMED UNIMPRESSIVE COMPARED TO ITS ELABORATELY NAMED KIN, THESE BODEGA BEAUTIES TOOK ON A SPECIAL MEANING THIS SUMMER. DURING A HEARTBREAKING AND TUMULTUOUS PERIOD, THEY FILLED US WITH HOPE AND JOY IN THE MOMENTS WE NEEDED THEM MOST. I SAW FLOWERS EVERYWHERE AS THEY PETALED THE SEMINAL EVENTS OF THE SUMMER; INVITING THEMSELVES INTO INTIMATE MOMENTS OF RESPITE AT HOME, OR ACTING AS A BEACON OF REVERENCE AND RESPECT AT VIGILS, BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS, THE BROOKLYN LIBERATION MARCH FOR BLACK TRANS LIVES, AND PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATIONS BY THE STONEWALL INN. FROM THE GATHERINGS OF VOGUERS THAT STREAMED DOWN CHELSEA PIERS, TO THE COOL KIDS DRAPED IN THRIFTED WEARS HANGING AT WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK, AND THE DRAG PERFORMERS IN SHERIDAN SQUARE IN THEIR FULL REGALIA, ROSES BLOSSOMED IN CELEBRATION OF LIFE AND THE PROMISE OF WHAT LAY AHEAD. A SENTIMENTAL MOTIF, THE BLOOMS SERVED AS A REMINDER THAT AMIDST UNCERTAINTY AND DARKNESS, WE FIND LIGHT IN THE TRUE EXPRESSION OF OUR MOST REAL AND AUTHENTIC SELVES.

WHEN SO MANY DECIDED TO FLEE DURING THE PANDEMIC, I BELIEVED IT WAS MY DUTY TO STAY WITH MY BELOVED CITY. LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT MY PARTICIPATION IN THIS HISTORIC CHAPTER WOULD LEAD ME TO REWRITE SOME OF MY OWN STORY. AS I WATCHED THE ASIAN COMMUNITY COME UNDER ATTACK DURING THE ONSET OF THE PANDEMIC, I FELT AN URGENT NEED TO EXPRESS MY EXISTENCE IN ITS FULL GLORY.

INSPIRED BY THE UNABASHED AUTHENTICITY OF THE CAST OF CHARACTERS THAT SURROUNDED ME, I REALIZED THAT MY MOST POWERFUL ACT OF DEFIANCE WAS BEING MY UNAPOLOGETIC AND TRUEST ME. ALL THROUGHOUT THE CITY A REVOLUTION OF SELF-EXPRESSION WAS TAKING PLACE, WHICH LED TO THE INSPIRATION OF OUR PRE-FALL/FALL 2021 COLLECTION. IN NEPAL AND INDIA, THE COLOURS PINK AND RED REPRESENT AN AUSPICIOUS BEGINNING. AN APT COLOUR STORY IMBUED WITH THE MOODY DARKNESS OF NEW YORK CITY; THE COLLECTION IS A COLLISION FORCE OF MATRIARCHAL ENERGY AND REBELLION. PIECES APPEAR IN VERSATILE FABRICS TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY WITH LAYERED BODYSUITS AND GLOVES AS A PROTECTIVE LAYER. THE BODEGA ROSE MOTIF BLOOMS ACROSS THE EXAGGERATED SLEEVES OF HIGH-OCTANE COCKTAIL DRESSES IN COTTONS AND SILKS, FLUID JERSEY LOOKS, AND GOWNS REIMAGINED FROM VINTAGE STORE FINDS. POLKA DOTS PUNCTUATE VOLUMINOUS COTTON SKIRTS, HAND-PLEATED SUNBURST CHIFFON BLOUSES, AND OUR SIGNATURE CUT-OUT DRESSES. DRAMATIC FLOUNCES COMMAND THE ATTENTION OF SCULPTURAL EVENINGWEAR AND ENVELOP TAILORED BLOUSES WITH FLAIR. THE BOLD ENERGY OF THE CITY PRESENTS ITSELF IN VIBRANT HUES, THEATRICAL TRUMPET PANTS, AND ELECTRIC MOIRE MINI DRESSES AND CARGO PANTS.

THE COLLECTION IS A CELEBRATION OF THE EXUBERANCE OF COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE. OVER THE SUMMER, NEW YORK REVEALED TO ME THE HEALING POWER OF UNFETTERED JOY AND THE UNAPOLOGETIC EXPRESSION OF ONESELF. THE CITY DISPELLED OF ALL STERILITY AND WAS REVIVED AS A THRIVING GROUND WHERE CREATIVITY AND RESISTANCE WERE STIRRED TOGETHER TO BE SERVED TO THE WORLD.

THROUGH ALL THE CHALLENGES OUR COMMUNITY PERSISTED, AND WE WERE ABLE TO FIND JOY AMONGST THE CHAOS. WE WERE ALL CONNECTED: A BODY OF DISTANCED STRANGERS FOREVER BONDED IN UNITY AND LOVE. WE CHANTED AND SANG, WE MARCHED AND DANCED – AND THROUGH ALL THE PAIN AND UNCERTAINTY WE FOUND AND EMBRACED EACH OTHER.


WITH LOVE AND DEVOTION,
PRABAL