One of our favorite days is coming up. No, it’s not a holiday (technically), although we have a feeling 67% of the country is going to be celebrating. It’s the launch of yet another designer collaboration at Lane Bryant, and now that we’ve gotten a sneak peek, we’re readying ourselves to snap up every piece of Prabal Gurung’s collection.
“About a year and a half ago at the Victoria’s Secret’s show, Instagram was filled with my friends and models posting, and I was on 6th Avenue and West 4th and I was thinking this is always happening and I am happy they are getting recognition but, what about the other women?" Gurung says of how the idea came to fruition. "And at that exact time a bus with the “I’m No Angel” campaign displayed on it passed by. I sent myself an email that night and the next morning I called my office and I was like ‘I want to do this’ and I never looked back.”
Although the designer has previously offered designs up to a size 22, he was elated to partner with a plus powerhouse such as Lane Bryant. “What I wanted to do was have the platform that reaches a large audience and have the conversation. If I did it on my own I could have this conversation, but to have a bigger conversation I needed them. Partnering with them made sense and I also wanted to learn. That is the best part of a creative field is that you are always a student, always learning. That state of being a student learning is something that I love.”
The 22-piece collection epitomizes his sophisticated aesthetic; structured silhouettes, clean lines, and a smattering of prints. “I wanted to have with this collaboration an elevated conversation,” he said. “No longer was I willing to be like, this is Lane Bryant, this is what we do, no no. I wanted to have an elevated conversation with great photographers and a great model who share the similar esthetics and similar passion for life and fashion and everything else.”
Gurung saw no reason to change his style ideology just because he was designing for larger bodies, echoing the sentiment that plus-size women have declared for years. “I walked in there and maybe she likes this, she likes that, and I said ‘You know, her wants and desires are no different from these girls who buy my stuff; it should be the same thing for this segment also.’ I want to create clothes that feel sophisticated, that feel elevated, that feel nice that she can wear that feels good. I want to create that outfit that when she wears it we are just like ‘Oh wow.’ I wanted to have a silent quiet whisper of confidence. It is assured, not over or under confident.”
Besides being a chic confidence boost, if the clothes give you visions of French-girl cool, well, that’s no coincidence, as Gurung was inspired by just that. “What is the most fashionable city in the world? Everyone says Paris,” explained Gurung. “And also what is the most intimidating city for fashion? Paris. I’ve encountered and heard stories and everything. I want the city of fashion and the City of Lights that we look for inspiration from as designers to be the first place that welcomes this woman.” The price-point and sizing are very welcoming as well, as the size 10-28 collection rings in between $38 and $398.
Gurung sees democracy in style, so he was taken aback by his fashion contemporaries lack of desire to diversify. “The biggest surprise was the lack of movement in our industry in the field and market,” he said. “It is such a slow process. It was surprising how much of a lack of courage to delve into this world. Aren’t we as creative people supposed to be brave? Aren’t we as creative people supposed to break boundaries and barriers? I found it surprising that it was an absolute minority who were doing that.”
But he sees positivity in the future, even though the industry as a whole is still sorely falling behind. “There is a shame attached to it. It is as simple as that. I think the fashion industry has a big herd mentality, and I am not saying all of us. It is very rare that you will find true leaders and pioneers who have the courage to go the different path. People are uninformed. I was unaware of this industry and had to research and learn. It is very easy to do what has been done and keep following what works. It takes courage to make that effort and learn new stuff. My hope is that it changes and is no longer a trending topic and becomes normal.”
Although you’ll have to wait until February 27 to whip out your wallets, we've got a sneak peek of the collection ahead.