NY Fashion Week Spring 2018 Houston
New York Fashion Week

With Gloria Steinem's help, designer Prabal Gurung sends a colorful and inspirational message

With Gloria Steinem's help, Prabal Gurung sends a colorful message

Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 23
Prabal Gurung hibiscus silk cady asymetric one-shoulder gathered not tie-neck blouse with extended sash, Dahlia laminated cotton relaxed workwear trouser. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 20
Prabal Gurung peony multi-plaid twill combo twist halterneck dress with side cutout and back drape detail. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 29
Prabal Gurung seagrass fluid floral fil coupedress with extended cascade detail. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 36
Prabal Gurung lemon liquid silk chiffon hand-embroidered scoop neck dress with hand-beaded cascade fringe. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 25
Prabal Gurung navy twill dropped jacket, seagrass cashmere knit turtleneck bodysuit, azul high-waisted sculpted short with corset. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 22
Prabal Gurung black-and-pearl silk charmeuse twisted halter neck bodysuit, black crepe relaxed workwear trouser. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 13
Prabal Gurung porcelain cotton cropped collared wrap shirt with sculptural sleeve, lemon engineered knit high-waisted skirt with ribbed corset waist and button detail. Photo courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 23
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 20
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 29
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 36
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 25
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 22
Prabal Gurung spring 2018 look 13

Gloria Steinem is not a fashion show regular. But the women's rights icon was on the front row of the Prabal Gurung runway show, along with longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin,  Rich Kids of Beverly Hills star E.J. Johnson, and Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth, to support the 38-year-old designer at New York Fashion Week.

"He's a feminist," Steinem told CultureMap, noting that she decided to attend after the designer wrote her a personal note and invited her. She even posted a photo of herself at the show on Instagram:

 

Gurung, who has increasingly championed diversity on the runway and equality for all in his native Nepal, at home in the USA, and around the world, sent out a spring/summer 2018 collection that clearly exudes women power, but also shows he's an optimistic feminist. He dubbed the collection "Stronger in Colour," and it was brighter that bright with mixed florals, contrasting plaids, and strong monocromatic shades of cerulean blue, sunshine yellow, cotton candy pink, and emerald green.

Along with expertly cut blazers, high-waisted shorts, and trench coats, some in a shiny laminated fabric, Gurung specializes in dreamy chiffon day dresses and draped two-tone goddess gowns of twisted fabric. Many of the looks are trimmed in tiny buttons covered in fabric that can be unbuttoned to reveal a hint of skin at the waist or shoulder if the wearer so chooses. And sandals with chunky clear Lucite heels make a statement.

His message: Fashion can be an irresistible way to effect change — a sentiment emblazoned on his T-shirt, which read, "Resist with ❤︎".  Of course, the heart was pink.

It's a message that carried through a the 69th Annual Emmy Awards where Elisabeth Moss accepted the Best Actress award for her role in The Handmaid's Tale in a pale pink strapless tea-length dress created by Gurung. The word "Off" was scribbled on the bottom of one shoe, a reference to the series based on the acclaimed Margaret Atwood novel, in which handmaids are slaves forced to bear children for powerful families. Among those who Moss thanked were her mother for being "brave and strong and smart."

"The Handmaid's Tale tells the story of a woman's strength in a dark world through resistance. Tonight, we wanted Elisabeth's strength as a woman and an actress to shine through embracing her femininity," Gurung told the Hollywood Reporter.

The Prabal Gurung collection is available in Houston at Elizabeth Anthony.