NY Fashion Week Fall 2017 Houston
Prabal and Hamilton Star

Prabal Gurung offers a feminist take on fashion and Hamilton star approves

Prabal Gurung offers feminist take on fashion; Hamilton star approves

Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 7
Prabal Gurung chartreuse petal jacquard long sleeve dress with twisted drape front and knit turtleneck. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 look 19
Prabal Gurung black silk charmeuse long sleeve dress with detachable sleeve and covered button detail. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Renee Elise Goldsberry at Prabal Gurung runway show at New York Fashion Week
Tony Award winning Hamilton star Renée Elise Goldsberry, who grew up in Houston, is a Prabal Gurung fan. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 29
Prabal Gurung garnet pointlist devore long sleeve dress with twisted front keyhole. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 37
Prabal Gurung black multi-abstract camo hand embroidered floating crystal long sleeve gown. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 8
Prabal Gurung titanium lame long sleeve mock neck dress with twisted drape side cutout and covered button detail. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 20
Prabal Gurung black multi-floral stretch georgette mock neck long sleeve dress with twisted drape side cutout and covered button detail. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 7
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 look 19
Renee Elise Goldsberry at Prabal Gurung runway show at New York Fashion Week
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 29
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 37
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 8
Prabal Gurung fall 2017 collection Look 20

In these turbulent times, a number of designers at New York Fashion Week have sought to broaden the definition of femininity and feminism. Among them is Prabal Gurung, who said in his program notes: "Femininity has not one definition and this fall begins with a question, 'What does it mean to say a woman should 'dress like a woman?' "

For his fall collection, Gurung offered a little something for just about every woman, from chunky sweaters to stylish ankle banded pants and jackets with bell sleeves, a mink coat in a blurred camouflage pattern, modest silk dresses, and see-through crystal gowns.

Some looks were buttoned up, some were revealing, and some were both. Gurung featured a couple of plus-size models in mid-length dresses with silk covered buttons that opened at the shoulder or the skirt for a sexier look — showing a curvy woman can wear designer clothes if only designers would make and show them in larger sizes.

For his final runway bow to emphasize his message, Gurung sent the models out in all-black and all-white T-shirts with such phrases as "Femininity With A Bite," "Love Is Love," "My Boyfriend Is A Feminist," and "My Girlfriend Is A Feminist." When Gurung made his appearance in front of the enthusiastic audience, his T-shirt read, "This What A Feminist Looks Like." The T-shirts retail on Gurung's website from $130 each.

Before the show began, I caught up with Renée Elise Goldsberry, the Tony-winning star of Hamilton, on the front row. When asked what she liked about Gurung, she effused, "Well, it's great because now I'm a fan of his as a person. I was in love with his clothes first. I had the opportunity to wear them to the Golden Globes this year. I feel like you can really make a statement with the clothes that he wears.

"And I'm excited about tonight, because I know it's inspired by feminism. I feel like #Sisterhood. It's timely and important and it feels good to be doing things that are timely and important, supporting people who are doing things that are healing."

Goldsberry also was extremely excited to join her Hamilton castmates Phillipa Soo and Jasmine Cephas Jones — they originated the roles of the Schuyler sisters, Eliza, Angelica and Peggy, in the hit musical — to sing America The Beautiful at the Super Bowl pregame show in her hometown of Houston two months ago.

"It was a once-in-a lifetime experience and I was really grateful that I got to do it because I'm from Houston," she said. "It was a beautiful reunion because I was home with my family and it was a beautiful reunion because I was with the two girls who were my sisters in Hamilton, and we don't work together anymore, so it was good to have a reason to stand together."

Goldsberry is currently filming the Netflix series Altered Carbon in Vancouver (based on the 2002 hardboiled cyberpunk science fiction novel by Richard K. Morgan, it's out next winter). And she portrays the title role in the HBO film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks with Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne. According to Wikipedia "Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who was the progenitor of the HeLa cell line, one of the most important cell lines in medical research ever discovered."

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