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September 15, 2019

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NY designers salutes glam, color and style

Prabal Gurung

With flower crowns and beauty pageant sashes, Prabal Gurung asked a fundamental question — who gets to be an American?

Adorning his runway at New York Fashion Week with hanging bouquets mixed with flags from around the world, the designer celebrated diversity in size and ethnicity, using plus-size models, nonbinary walkers and those of all colors.

He celebrated some standards of American fashion as well, cowboy boots included, juxtaposing denim, sportswear influences and grand colorful gowns for evening.

Gurung, a Nepalese American, produces 80 percent to 90 percent of his clothes in his home base of New York.

“I wanted to explore this idea of what America looks like, what Americana looks like, who does America belong to?” he said.

For spring 2020, his show finale included sashes draped on models asking his key question. Floral prints dominated, specifically the rose.

But it wasn’t all about the flowers. One sleeveless dress with a high side slit was a sparkling patchwork of green, purple, pink and yellow squares and triangles.

“There’s the pragmatism of T-shirts and jeans and there’s the fantasy and beautiful glamor of evening wear,” Gurung said.

“I wanted to marry those two and really question, who does this country belong to?”

Inclusive show

In celebration of gender-fluid fashion and inclusion of all kinds, the queer-style digital magazine dapperQ threw a runway party at the start of New York Fashion Week, filling the Beaux-Arts Court of the Brooklyn Museum with invited guests and nearly 2,000 members of the public.

It was the sixth annual Queer Runway Show at the museum for dapperQ, which uses the rallying cry of “ungendering fashion.” Marking its 10th year in business, the site enlisted 10 brands to dress an array of models of all colors, ages and sizes, large and small, on the gender binary and off.

Anita dolce Vita, the publisher of dapperQ and the executive producer of the show, said “queer fashion to me and in our community is fashion for everyone,” no matter your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender presentation.

The show “really breaks down and dismantles the binaries that we often see.”

Jeremy Scott

Designer Jeremy Scott sent his models down the runway in electric hues, crystal-embedded garments, sparkly sky-high boots and brightly colored wigs, evoking what he called an “intergalactic pop band.”

And the look was carried, literally, from head to toe. A memorable highlight was the wigs, poufy creations with bangs, in shades of pink, yellow, orange, turquoise and deep blue. Another was the tall, shimmering, over-the-thigh boots in everything from metallic silver to purple to bronze to green to ice blue.

Scott said after the show that he’d been inspired to create “an intergalactic imaginary synthetic pop band, a rock opera in outer space.”

Scott said his inspirations are “like breadcrumbs being left by a higher divinity.”

Christian Siriano

Fashion lovers argue that it’s not only a business but also a true art, and Christian Siriano made that argument in a literal way by bringing artist Ashley Longshore to his runway, who put the finishing touches on her paintings as models strutted by.

His runway, as always an inclusive environment featuring models of all shapes, sizes and genders, was filled with color, notably shimmering greens and yellows. The show ended with a display of rainbow-themed garments, as in a huge belted rainbow coat in metallic lame, with giant balloon sleeves.

Siriano did not hold back on the glam factor, with long ruffled trains, billowing sleeves and sequins on dresses, skirts and pants, and even a sprinkling of angel wings.

“I have customers from all walks of life, and I think that’s what I try to do in this collection,” he said. “We have something for everyone in a way.”

He said his focus was still on glamorous evening wear but added that he also wanted some “great pieces for someone that wants to go out to dinner.”


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