| Prune Perromat |
NEW YORK (AFP) – Two of New York’s hottest Asian-born designers, Thakoon Panichgul and Prabal Gurung, recently lit up the runway during Fashion Week.
The Singapore-born, Nepal-raised and New York-trained Gurung is marking the sixth anniversary of his eponymous label, which has dressed the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama and Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge.
He won rave reviews for his latest collection, which mixed sensuous cocktail dresses with the comfort of sportswear. Always inspired by the mountains, this time Gurung turned to America’s Adirondacks for his muse, as well as sourcing hand-knit Nepalese cashmere and snow leopard printed calf hair.
“The inspiration was this idea of ease and sensuality and comfort, and the sensuality and glamour that comes with it,” Gurung told AFP backstage.
“What I wanted to do was bring the glamour of the evening wear to the sportswear, and the ease and comfort of the sports wear to the evening,” he said.
The outfits were matched by delicate, stilettos made from snake, suede, lizard and leather, in only Gurung’s second footwear collection. “I wanted to do something that has really something elegant, chic and feminine but that had a little bit of bite, I always say that,” Gurung said of the shoes.
Earlier, Thai-born, Omaha-raised fashion designer Thakoon moved into his second decade in the business recently with a bohemian collection inspired by Oscar Wilde.
“All of the fabrics that I was really loving are all textural, there’s a mohair wool, there’s velvet tapestry and there was a richness to it that was really reminiscent of Oscar Wilde,” he said in an interview.
“It was basically taking the idea of Bohemia but mixing it with 19th century dandy.”
The New York-based designer, who has also dressed Michelle Obama and Hollywood star Demi Moore, unveiled his first collection in September 2004 and is looking toward his next decade in the trade.
“I feel great,” he said. “Ten years, ago my presentation was in a tiny little space. It was jam-packed and we’re able to grow organically and it feels really wonderful.”
Thakoon put handbags on the runway for the first time, a season after launching them quietly.
“These really accompany the clothes really well, there is a personality to them that… they don’t scream bags, they scream just a little something to add to the collection,” he said.