I bet everyone knows that the celebrated New York-based designer Prabal Gurung was born in Singapore, but I doubt you could guess that Prabal had never returned to his birthplace until yesterday, when he opened the Audi Fashion Festival with a showing of his Fall collection. Undoubtedly, he is a true star here. Young and successful (his brand is just five years old), Prabal tells me that the story of his native Singapore resonates with his own story, when, despite all the challenges young designers face, “things have happened” to him, and happened very quickly. “So to be able to connect that story and come back, it felt really great. It’s very emotional for me,” the designer told me right after his show. “I always say that the girls I design for have a femininity with a bite. The femininity and the grace come from this part of the world, and the bite and the edge come from New York,” Prabal continued. He is a very determined designer, and success came to him in such a short period of time.
In our conversation, Prabal told me he has a very strict schedule: Every morning, he wakes up around 5:00 or 5:30, then goes to the gym, talks to his mom a little bit (such a sweet detail), and goes to work. He conducts his business and meetings until 2:00 p.m., and after lunch he delves into the design process. The latest collection proves that he spent much time pushing his creative ability forward. For example, prints were inspired by the works of Prabal’s friend, artist Cecily Brown. When the designer first saw them in her studio, they were so surreal and beautiful that it was an important starting point for him. Prabal’s show in Singapore was one of the most important events of the Audi Fashion Festival. AFF happens once a year and already has five editions under its belt. This time, the event’s theme was The Art of Progress, and apart from shows by designers such as Gurung and Oscar de la Renta (who will close the whole event on Sunday), AFF also contains the important Asia Fashion Summit and Blueprint trade show, where a majority of young local (and some international) designers show their work to press, buyers, and clients. Of course, Prabal’s show at the Asia Fashion Festival was a special moment for the whole country; the designer finally returned to his native city with a triumphant show.
Photos: Courtesy of Daria Shapovalova