PRABAL GURUNG: A/W 12 BACKSTAGE GIRLS DAY 1
With the more colourful sections of this collection, particularly where ruffles emerge, gold lame and even a tinselly kind of fabric I’m too simple to place specifically, I’m reminded of Paris Is Burning. Don’t dare give me shade, am well aware this is the most over used of fashion refs like…evs, but it’s true! One scene is running through my head as clearly as if I were watching it on Youtube right now. Oh wait I am. ‘I am Pepper Labeija’ he/she declares, ‘Legendary Mother of The House Of Labeija’, and with that he/she begins a strange robotic strut across the grubby floor of some dilapidated hall. And what’s he/she wearing? An enormous pouffey creation in gold, with removable sleeves that are teased off and slung into the faces of a shrieking crowd of queens. Of course I’m not comparing this naively assembled loo roll cover to the carefully engineered offerings of Mr. Gurung. It’s just that the designer dared to present that same sense of all out decadence in his final looks. Basically ignoring whats wearable, and taking us to a high camp kind of heaven, where women dress like She-ra dolls and as they case may be with Pepper…men do too. Good on you Prabal, Exits 33 through 40 were tinged with Bob Mackie style high camp…and fact is you dared to go there. Fact is we’d like to see a bit more daring. As PIB’s compere growls at the end of this sequence i’m watching over and over, ‘Get off the floor…get off the floor…learn it and learn it well!’.
by Vincent Levy
Photographer: Jason Lloyd-Evans