Prabal Gurung Spring Summer 2024 Collection

Prabal Gurung Spring Summer 2024 Collection

Spring Summer 2024 Collection: West Meets East

I've always been captivated by the magic of mashups, where opposing forces collide to create something new, a tension that inspires and surprises. Yet, often, these mashups tend to be unequal, with minorities or smaller players meeting the dominant forces. This season, I wanted to flip the script, envisioning the West meeting the East and redefining what it means to decolonize the colonizer. This paradigm shift encourages us to break down stereotypes and hierarchies, fostering a richer, more inclusive global cultural conversation. This collection represents a fusion, what we call 'jugalbandi,' of cultures and identities, bridging the gap between East and West.

The concept of "East meets West" has long been a prevailing narrative - however, I've come to appreciate that the true essence lies in the idea of "West meets East." Western influence has permeated Eastern traditions, values, and aesthetics. The West has encountered the richness and diversity of the East, absorbing its ancient wisdom, craftsmanship, and innovative spirit. This dynamic exchange fosters a harmonious convergence, where the West, with its innovation and individualism, intersects with the East's profound respect for heritage and community.

In the spirit of my aunts' journey as immigrants in 1980s New York City, who once struggled to balance their roots with the demands of the Western world, serve as a poignant symbol. With each step, they wove their unique narrative, blending the tapestry of their heritage with the vibrant hues of their newfound world, creating a fusion of strength, resilience, and endless possibilities.

Their story inspired me to imagine the reverse - instead, envisioning someone traveling from West to the East, embarking on a voyage, shedding the obligations of western norms, unraveling of her own beliefs as she discovers and embraces the wisdom of her new world in the East. This I’d like to believe is the beginning of a decolonization process, a beautiful amalgamation of the two worlds that arises when we are open to celebrating differences. The women who inspired this collection are a testament to strength, seamlessly bridging the worlds of West and East, embodying the bold resilience of a New Yorker while exuding the timeless grace and heritage of her Eastern roots, encapsulating the dynamic fusion that is our source of inspiration.

The prints and colors draw inspiration from my travels in Nepal and India, derived from vintage Indian woodblock designs, which have been transformed and melded into a harmonious cultural mashup, reflecting a fusion of ideas and thoughts. Additional prints evoke memories of the wallpaper at my grandmother's house, featuring abstracted flowers such as poppies and lotus blossoms, cascading like whispers from a forgotten era, their original colors gracefully faded to an alluring patina effect. Each hue and pattern bear the imprint of time's tender touch, evoking a sense of timeless elegance and a story whispered through the fabric's delicate history.

Silhouettes and fabrics celebrate the timeless elegance of this heritage while embracing the practicality of the present. Delicate hand draping, reminiscent of the fluidity and grace of a sari, cascades effortlessly in light cotsilk dhoti pants and soft leather sarong skirts, embodying the timeless allure and artistry of Indian craftsmanship. Sculpted sari and Angrakhi tops are molded onto the body in silk chiffons and deconstructed nylon, reimagining traditional silhouettes infused with modern sensibilities. Where metallic and natural linens are fashioned into loose, flowing silhouettes with handkerchief hemlines, crafting an ode to relaxed elegance that effortlessly dances with the wind on balmy days.

In my home of Nepal, artists use their work to deconstruct myths and beliefs, offering a sense of inspiration and healing in these challenging times. Ultimately, it reaffirms my belief that true freedom lies in being authentically oneself, the ultimate goal we all strive for. Freedom has always been central to my brand and personal journey, even though it entails a demanding, brick-by-brick struggle. It's through this struggle that I've found joy, allowing me to deconstruct my own beliefs and question the idea of freedom itself, ultimately seeking a deeper sense of liberation in this complex world of diverse perspectives and realities.

With that in mind, Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park holds a deeply sentimental place in my heart. Five years ago, I had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with Rolling Stone, Skylight Studios, and Bentley Meeker to create the "Freedom From Fear" light installation at this very park in support of March for Our Lives. The vibrant colors, a reflection of my personal ethos of being "stronger in colour," illuminated Roosevelt Island, projecting a message of #FreedomFromFear and representing the Four Freedoms. This emotional and powerful experience prompted me to host this collection at the park, serving as a reminder of FDR's fundamental human rights and the importance of unapologetically embracing our freedom in today's divisive times.

With this collection, let us shift our perspective and celebrate the beauty of the interplay between these two worlds. "West meets East" encapsulates the true spirit of a global society, one where we draw inspiration from each other, embrace our differences, and create something altogether extraordinary.