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Prabal Gurung Explores Loss and His Own 'Unraveling' for Fall 2024

Prabal Gurung approaches his designs as an ode to female beauty and resilience — or "femininity with a bite," as he calls it. His Fall 2024 offering, however, is an ode to a man: Gurung's father passed away last November, and the collection reflects his memory.

"[His death] led me into an uncharted territory of grieving and not knowing. I just dove into his side of the family and into old diaries, old pictures, pressed flowers, my own diaries, notes and everything," Gurung told Fashionista backstage of his father, with whom he says he had a complex relationship. "That brought me a little bit of healing and comfort."

The clothes are a tangible manifestation of grief and — its inseparable twin — love. Thus, there is melancholy and joy running through the arteries of the collection. The conjoined sentiments are not only juxtaposed between looks on the runway, but they're also sometimes interwoven within a single piece. A dress, the color of blood (or red-hot anger) is cut on the bias to flow; with the model's hair moving in the wind, the look conjures up a sense of longing. Orchids, that may be fit to lie beside a headstone, are pleated into a sheer blouse.

Even the materials are tied to death: Leather, though often seen as a symbol of edgy coolness, is literally animal death. Gurung transformed tanned skins into shearling-trim coats, snug pants and fitted evening gowns meant to evoke a comforting, protective embrace. The Nepalese designer, who grew up in the South Asian country, had images of indigenous people in Nepal across epochs on his mood board. Garments from the tribe his father came from inspired the these textural materials, he shared.

On the runway, models wore smoky eyes and tear-like highlights on their lower lids, like a sad passersby you might encounter on the street. "Song to the Siren" by This Mortal Coil was part of the soundtrack — filling the room with heartbroken lines like, "Did I dream that you dreamed about me?" — before Debussy's "Clair de Lune."

Gurung is known for focusing on beautiful fabrics and sharp lines. This season, though, he also aimed to show sartorial "unraveling" via deconstruction. It mirrors his own experience with grief, he says: "I think for someone who likes to be in control, not being in control of your own thing was a tough thing."

In this period of reflection, the Prabal we know and love is still here: "I'm hopelessly optimistic always," he says. "This is the first time I had to delve into that [melancholy]. I was like, let me just allow myself. And so it's landed into… this."

And so Gurung faces the beast. He jumps into the terrifying yet beautiful journey through grief for Fall 2024, taking us along. He deals with its profundity: not just the anger and tears, but the sorrow, the quiet, the happiness of remembering and the gray feeling of inevitably forgetting.

Keep scrolling to see every look from Prabal Gurung's Fall 2024 collection.

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung Fall 2024. Photo: Dan Lecca/Courtesy of Prabal Gurung

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