It’s potential that nobody had a greater time on the Met Gala than Prabal Gurung. Not solely did the designer host a desk for the primary time (together with Tasaki, the pearl-focused Japanese fine-jewelry firm he joined final fall), however the occasion additionally served as an early 10th anniversary celebration for his firm—and one thing of a launch celebration for his newest endeavor, Atelier Prabal Gurung. Diane Kruger, Ashley Graham, Gabrielle Union, Ming Xi, Eliza Gonzalez, Deepika Padukone, Hikari Mori, and Hailee Steinfeld all sat at Gurung’s desk carrying the primary bespoke robes from the brand new, couture-like Atelier assortment, which launches at present. The timing was genius; why shoot a lookbook when you possibly can debut your new assortment on a proficient and numerous group of superstar associates on the greatest style occasion of the yr?
Gurung is not any stranger to Met Gala robes, after all. He designed Margaret Qualley and Mindy Kaling’s clothes final yr, in addition to Emily Ratajkowski’s barely-there ivory robe in 2016. “This has been building for a while,” he defined over the telephone. “We’ve always taken a couture approach to our [ready-to-wear] designs, and we make the majority of our collections in New York. I have a big private-client business, too, so we’ve been making custom, made-to-measure gowns for them.” With Atelier, that non-public, couture-level strategy will probably be accessible to much more ladies. The eight robes Gurung made for his Met Gala crew are all included within the first Atelier capsule, accessible now through trunk reveals at Bergdorf Goodman and Moda Operandi. So for those who beloved Union’s lemon yellow quantity or Graham’s Joan of Arc–impressed gilded sequin costume, you possibly can have the identical one lower particularly for you.
Revisiting photographs of Gurung and his ladies collectively, what’s most placing isn’t simply how numerous they’re when it comes to age, race, and measurement—a message he’s lengthy supported—however how completely totally different their clothes are, too. Union, Xi, and Mori’s had been fairly easy and targeted on a single vibrant, surprising shade, whereas Kruger and Graham leaned closely into the “Heavenly Bodies” theme. Gurung consulted every girl individually to design her robe, so every costume made a singular assertion. “It gave me full freedom to showcase who these girls really are,” Gurung mentioned. “People often say that fashion is just clothes, but it’s not. It’s about conveying so many messages, and that’s what fashion can do in the world we live in right now—it can truly represent different conversations. It’s no longer just about the designs, it’s about who’s wearing it, why, and what she’s representing. All of my conversions [with the girls] became about that.”
Even two days after the celebration, Gurung nonetheless gave the impression to be feeling fairly euphoric about all of it. “It was a full-circle moment for me,” he mentioned. “I walked the carpet with Diane, and I was looking around [thinking about how I was] really bullied in my Catholic boy’s school. My escape was fashion and sketching, so to be at this Met Gala, it almost felt like the things I’d sketched had come to life and were walking right in front of me. It was surreal.”
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