Just a Dose of Drama

prabal gurung fall 2014

A streaker crashes Prabal Gurung’s fall 2014 collection. Editors are still wondering if it’s worth making it to Alexander Wang’s Brooklyn show; I’m curious to know what Anna Wintour took. These were just some of the stories we were hearing everywhere going to some of the top designers shows. But I never even gave a dime for what the rest were commenting. I was more focused witnessing the events occurring at Saturday’s presentations. 

So, where do we begin?

Drama has always been a favorite of Prabal Gurung, Altuzarra, and Alexander Wang’s. We know clothes can sometimes be complicated to understand from them, but this season they were a sensation among their niche, keeping a shocking balance between desire and drama. 

Prabal Gurung presented one of his best collections to date where his clothes became a beautiful reference to his beloved Nepal in layering’s and color. And “Mustang” was his main inspiration. A small kingdom around the Himalayas you’d fall in love with the scenery; whenever you get the chance, you should look it up. 

He began by introducing luxurious crafted knits (one of the best), cozy oversized scarves (or blankets), and mink coats worn over draped chiffon skirts that looked ultra-confident to wear. I was actually expecting thick jackets here, but these were very thoughtful ideas of him making outerwear modern to wear in the city. Other coats in teal, gray, and orange that resembled a cape were worth noticing too.

He kept most of his enticing color-block skirts sliced to show some thigh, but he soon started getting slightly out of control during the middle of the show. First, his mature tailored-fitted pants were awkwardly designed with those contrasting pockets. They would have worked perfectly without these insets like a burgundy printed and embroidered pant that was breathtaking; it had a life of its own. Those twisted tops and deconstructed jackets mixed with silk were another risky territory Gurung stepped in – Haider Ackerman and Nicholas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga have already introduced these types of constructions. But if you would to research the culture of his country, you’d find they were one of his most confident pieces that echoed classic Nepalese styles in a more dramatic manner. 

For eveningwear, he went from signature digital print and feather dresses to sumptuous feminine embroidered, chiffon turtleneck gowns in pastel orange, red, burgundy, and navy that were made ready for a glamorous red carpet moment. His niche has always been “feminine with a bite” – Gurung’s main obsession. And it was clear he didn’t let go of it for a second. Sharp cuts that exposed some leg and back in these dresses were the bite that led to a triumphant and emotional collection. We could tell this collection came from his heart.

altuzarra womens fall 2014

Joseph Altuzarra seemed to have taken a break from hardcore layering and craftsmanship editors have been a fan of since the beginning of his career. Instead, he opted to offer super elegant coats and dresses that will speak to a wider group of women next fall. 

Kering investing a minor share in his company probably made him deeply analyze his brand identity. He’s one of those designers who understand how to mix luxury and craft like no other. But he does fashion, something that many may not feel connected to. Saturday opened a different chapter for Altuzarra though. One I thought was his strongest collection.

Double-face cashmere coats in cobalt blue and fuchsia were ridiculously desirable and graceful. So were his curvy dresses with insets of intense orange, pink, and blue that imbued sensuality to the collection like his silk slit ones worn with knee-high boots.  He didn’t disappoint his crafty fashion followers still, with esoteric yarns of embroidered tops that resembled a luxe Moroccan tapestry cut out to be worn as clothes; something I’d personally be willing to collect as art. These were Altuzarra’s essence that channeled through a more serene perspective. And one that will absolutely bring more exposure and money to the entire collection. Mr. Altuzarra is a savvy businessman too.

alexander wang womens fall 2014

Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was the place where Alexander Wang set his show for his fall collection. The big question here was if it was worth making it to Brooklyn? Hell yeah! Mr. Wang delivered more than what was expected: color and high luxury clothes designed to wear for extreme urban conditions. 

Urban sportswear has been his signature. For fall, he turned the volume even higher with an impressive and challenging collection that will be hard to beat next season for his own label. He went from adding puffy utility pockets on shift dresses and double-breasted coats – in case you needed drop in your cellphone and make-up – to lustrous neon colored jackets and tunics etched with playful designs (mountain landscapes added at the hems of coats and large scaled zigzag dresses). Cool knotted leather and tulle sweaters that proved why Wang is a master at wool. Paisley patterns engraved on leather skirts. And his craving black laser-cut coats that changed colors – purple, blue, and lime – thanks to heat sensitivity showed at the finale. Wang also had some powerful weapons of survival with those intricate thigh-high boots that had slots to place your cigarette lighter. No high drama, just a dose to keep the clothes in the spotlight. 

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