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Prabal Gurung Fall 2012: Darkness Into Light

Prabal Gurung's fall 2012 show at the IAC building got off to a late start. The designer puts a lot of effort into the beauty side of his shows and al

Prabal Gurung's fall 2012 show at the IAC building got off to a late start. The designer puts a lot of effort into the beauty side of his shows and all that blue eye shadow (a combination of five colors applied by MAC's Diane Kendal) takes a long time to apply. But instead of grumbles there were giggles while we waited: As a KCD publicist ran across the runway right before the show seemed ready to start, Paper's Mickey Boardman yelled out "First look" and the fashion set erupted in laughter. Aww.

The thing about a longer wait is that it creates hype. Which can be a dangerous thing because what if the clothes don't live up? In this case, the clothes were worth the wait. Following his stellar spring 2012 collection, Gurung kept up the momentum for fall. He built on some of those elements from spring--a harness showed up here and there, there were swirly digital prints a plenty (only in blue this time instead of purple), ruffle flare skirts, and jelly fish like organza floated around dresses.

But this being a fall/winter collection, the looks were darker and moodier. The first looks out were all black, with Gurung's signature seam trousers done in neoprene with a flare leg. Models wore military inspired visors and their hair was stick straight and parted in the middle--hair stylist Paul Hanlon said he was going for a Carrie vibe. There was a lot of black patent leather, fur and neoprene on luxe outerwear, and on tailored ultra-sexy cut-out LBDs.

The title of the show was "Uncursed." So what does that mean? From wicked black looks (cursed) the show progressed to an "uncursed" almost heavenly finale of ethereal and sometimes over-the-top all white gowns with gold lame, ostrich feathers, and heavy embroidery accents. Campaign star Candice Swanepoel closed the show in a stunning ivory tulle hand-embroidered gown with sequined sheer skirt and ostrich feathers--who else could make that work, I'm not sure.

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In between the black and white there were bright cobalt blues--on embroidered sweaters, flared skirts, and on prints called "liquified steer skull" in the line sheets. There was many a steer skull, a la Georgia O'keeffe, if you looked hard enough, at the center of Gurung's oil spill-like printed dresses. I especially liked the sportier pieces--a neoprene sweatshirt with beaded and embroidered roses at the center worn over a flare skirt, a cobalt sweater, and a boxy varsity jacket--though those looks, especially the sweatshirts, recalled Tisci for Givenchy.

And of course, as Zoe Saldana's presence made plain, the last 15 or so looks (especially the sheer embroidered dress and the gold lame cut out va-va-va-voom number) are made for a celebrity on the red carpet.

Photos: IMAXtree