This is Prabal Gurung's second season designing the relaunched contemporary label ICB. And according to Gurung, he viewed this collection as a pretty direct extension of his first. "People don't know ICB yet, and the signatures are still developing," he noted. "I felt it was important to have continuity." With that in mind, the designer reiterated a few of his key themes from Fall '12, in particular the graphic use of color and the ikat print, which evolved into this season's similar "ink splotch" pattern. There was also further development of the line's tailoring, especially as more menswear elements were incorporated. And in general, the vibe of the line continued to read as young but urbane. So far, so good.
But something felt a little less resolved this time out. The charm of Gurung's ICB debut was that it was friendly but a little challenging: There was the odd sculptural silhouette, and the color combinations were occasionally bracing. No piece was too difficult, but Gurung seemed to be showing good faith that his customers were willing to be adventuresome. This season, individual pieces had a lot of verve—notably, Gurung had a good idea in using blocked color or black bordering to sharpen flirty silhouettes. But the overall impression was of a collection both sweeter and safer than the one preceding it. Still, as the designer himself suggested, this is a developing story. And Gurung, who just this week landed one of the dresses from his signature line on Kate Middleton, isn't short on determination to succeed.