Military has long been a recurring theme in fashion, but it’s no surprise that it’s especially on everybody’s minds with the recent news that the ban has been lifted on American women serving on the front lines. Not only that, but female soldiers’ bulletproof vests are being refitted so that the shoulders are narrower with an adjustable waist. Now, after reading that in Time magazine, how was someone like Prabal Gurung who’s constantly considering the female form expected to not reflect on the silhouette he creates for his own army, as it were, of “confident, self-assured women,” as he called them.
Discover the Prabal Gurung F/W '13/14 fashion show at the end of this post!
So, in his first look for fall, that’s much of what you see: an army-green top shaped like an inverted triangle paired with an exaggerated peplum and slim cargo pants. What followed were ranks of pieces just as commanding, if looser interpretations of the military theme, including a fatigue-colored fitted and flared skirt suit with an intricate brocade breastplate, smart navy coats, and olive cocktail dresses in wool and satin with strategically placed cut-outs. On other looks, accents were added to mimic harnesses.
Prabal Gurung continued: “The word empowerment kept coming up for me.” And when he dug deeper into his research, he discovered a Ukrainian group called Asgarda. These are women fighting a culture of human trafficking in their home country by teaching self-defense to their peers, and while doing so, they often wear long white dresses with folkloric embroidery. That’s where Gurung got inspiration for his swirling print in the latter half of the collection: silky, fluid, and fluttered satin cocktail frocks that felt signature to the designer tailored and sexy with a hint of softness.
For as much as fashion people love to reference the urban warrior and talk about dressing for the combat that can be daily life, there’s no arguing that models marching through a warehouse on Manhattan’s far West Side bear no resemblance to women living and working in a war zone. And yet, the quick pace and meticulous staging of Gurung’s tight show was done with military precision. This time of year, that can be half the battle.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo credit/Source: VOGUE
Runway: Photography by Marcus Tondo / InDigitalteam / GoRunway
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