Prabal Gurung's fashion show asks: Who gets to be a woman?

  • Model Amelia Hamlin attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Model Amelia Hamlin attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • New York Governor Kathy Hochul attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    New York Governor Kathy Hochul attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Socialite Nicky Hilton Rothschild attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Socialite Nicky Hilton Rothschild attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Political consultant Huma Abedin, left, and Glamour magazine editor-in-chief Samantha Barry attend the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Political consultant Huma Abedin, left, and Glamour magazine editor-in-chief Samantha Barry attend the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • New York Governor Kathy Hochul attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    New York Governor Kathy Hochul attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Actress Madelaine Petsch attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Actress Madelaine Petsch attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • New York Governor Kathy Hochul attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    New York Governor Kathy Hochul attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Actress Erinn Westbrook attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Actress Erinn Westbrook attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Social media personality Noah Beck attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Social media personality Noah Beck attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Model Amelia Hamlin attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Model Amelia Hamlin attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Actress Erinn Westbrook attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Actress Erinn Westbrook attends the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Models walk the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Models walk the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Fashion designer Prabal Gurung attends his spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Fashion designer Prabal Gurung attends his spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • Models walk the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    Models walk the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

  • A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

    A model walks the runway at the Prabal Gurung spring/summer 2022 fashion show at 20 Battery Place during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Associated Press

 
 
Posted9/9/2021 7:00 AM

NEW YORK -- New York's first female governor. American Girl dolls. The Statue of Liberty.

Prabal Gurung celebrated all things woman Wednesday night on the runway and off at his New York Fashion Week show along the downtown waterfront. He summed up his inspiration thusly with a quote borrowed from the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion and culture critic Robin Givhan:

 

'To be girlish is to be powerful, because power is redefined.'

Whether Gurung achieved that goal in his spring-summer mix of sporty dresses, loose trouser looks and elegant evening wear is up to interpretation, but he's been thinking a lot about the fundamental questions in today's culture wars over inclusivity, diversity, justice, femininity, beauty and ownership of women's bodies.

'Who gets to be all of it or none of it? Who gets to be a girl. In today's world, the maternal matriarchal energy is much more needed than ever," he told The Associated Press from Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park on New York Harbor, with Lady Liberty as his backdrop.

America, he said, 'has always been a woman but hasn't always been treated beautifully." New York is also a woman, Gurung said, as is new Gov. Kathy Hochul, who took the job last month after Andrew Cuomo's sexual harassment scandal and sat in the designer's audience with Amelia Hamlin, Huma Abedin and Maye Musk, the model mother of Elon.

'I'm a storyteller, you know, and I tell different kinds of stories. And as a storyteller, I'm a healer. Through stories you can connect people. You see people. And that's what fashion is. Fashion allows people to be seen, stories to be told and the joy and the optimism that comes with it,' he said.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

This particular story follows Gurung's 10th anniversary show two years ago in which he put models in beauty pageant sashes that read, 'Who gets to be American?' He used highlighter yellow tulle, bubble dresses and electric green trucker jackets to tell his tale this time around.

Gurung showed dressmaker button detailing alongside feathery and slinky looks. There were tea dresses and undyed denim trousers and wrap mini dresses. And he did it in collaboration with Mattel's American Girl, one of his show sponsors.

The doll brand is launching a limited edition T-shirt for both girls and their dolls emblazoned in multicolored letters with: 'Stronger in Colour.' Some of his guests held custom American Girl dolls in celebration of 'all the limitless possibilities,' according to a statement sent to media ahead of the show.

Had Gurung known what an American Girl doll was prior to the pairing?

'No, I didn't, to be completely honest,' he acknowledged.

No matter. Gurung is a proven fierce advocate and ally - for people of color, for immigrants, for non-binary people, for women. He concluded: 'I wanted to create a world where people tonight would feel that different kinds of beauty exist somewhere.'

___

Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Attention: We are experiencing technical difficulties with our Facebook Comments module at this time. Comments will remain disabled until we are able to resolve the problem. We apologize for the interruption. We invite you to engage with our content and talk with other commenters on our Daily Herald Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DailyHeraldFans/. Thank you.