Diversity is the buzzword in the fashion industry at the moment, with labels dipping their toes into collections that challenge notions of age, gender and size but Prabal Gurung has dived right in with mixed results.
A favourite of former US First Lady Michelle Obama, Prabal has collaborated with plus-size specialist Lane Bryant, which delivers to Australia but even his friends were surprised by the bold move.
At the screening of the documentary Straight/Curve in New York on Monday night Prabal said there was "a lot of snickering" about the Lane Bryant team up. A familiar face approached the Singaporean born, Nepalese-raised designer and said "Why are you designing for fat people?"
"She saw my reaction and she said, 'Oh no, I meant it as a joke!," Fashionistareported.
That joke paid off with a well-received collection which made its mark with a Vogue debut and campaign photographed by Inez and Vinoodh starring curvy supermodel Ashley Graham.
"Our industry is very, very slow at change, and fearful, we are operated by fear; there are a handful of people who operate with absolute courage and guts, but the majority of us, we don't," Prabal said.
Prabal is also one of the few designers making a firm commitment to expanding the parameters of high fashion but the road is long.
Ashley Graham is one of the few non-sample-sized models to have cracked the mainstream with Vogue covers and numerous runway appearances but Australia’s Robyn Lawley is unhappy with the pace of change.
“Designers say they’re changing, but they’re not. They should be respectful of their customers and use different-sized women on the catwalk instead of skinny young girls,” Robyn told The Australian newspaper.
"Telling women that they’re ‘plus-size’ is sending the wrong message — that there is something wrong with them. If we continue to use that term, which was created by the fashion industry, we are segregating huge numbers of women. We should get rid of it."Read more at:formal wear sydney | formal dresses online australia