NYFW FALL READY TO WEAR: Mary Katrantzou & Prabal Gurung

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As a Cal student stricken with the flu, it is definitely hard to keep up with something as fast-paced and distant as New York’s Fashion Week for Fall Ready-to-Wear 2013. However, there were some stunners that caught my eye (and made me lament over the fact that my wallet was lined with only crumpled receipts and not enough money to buy any of the pieces on the runway).

Mary Katrantzou (Kah-tr(trill them tr’s!)an-tszu) developed a beautiful collection that revolved around somber but dreamy prints of nature and lustrous streaks of rainbow colors. Her collection clearly demonstrates Katrantzou’s prowess at digital printing, achieving hues and print quality that most likely could not be matched by hand-painting itself. However, her true ingenuity comes from her skill at blending textures together. Combining whimsical silks with thick, tough leather and smothering knits, Katrantzou lends the ethereal darkness of her collection a certain magnetism, captivating her viewers as the models glide down the runways like specters.

Prabal Gurung practically did a 180° from Katrantzou and even his own collaborative collection with Target. Straying from the bright and punchy florals of his Target collection, Gurung focused on severe, nipped waists, cultural embroidery, and clean-cut tailoring for his military-inspired RTW collection.

Gurung certainly didn’t shy away from the leather either, strapping on belts and harnesses on his models to emphasize the waists even more – one glamorous dress made its way onto the catwalk, entirely constructed from black, edgy leather. Although some pieces seemed a bit arbitrary (here’s looking at you, baroque prints), Gurung had done a solid effort in emphasizing the role of women as powerhouses. The way in which he bares skin is not to flaunt the sexuality of women. Instead, it really allows for the visualization of empowered females who are ambitious and keen on getting what they want, a refreshing change from the typical objectification of exposed flesh.

Images Courtesy of Vogue