At the recently concluded New York Fashion Week, 34-year-old designer Prabal Gurung had the fashion press fawning over his Spring/Summer 2011 collection. And, Gurung gives credit to India for this victory lap. Originally from Nepal, Gurung, who studied fashion at NIFT, Delhi in 1995-96, says, “This collection was influenced by my time in India. I tried to capture the vibrancy of culture with this collection.” His list of clients includes the US First Lady, Michelle Obama, actors Sonam Kapoor, Zoe Saldana and Demi Moore.
Even though he moved out of the country in 1999, Gurung still has a strong connect with India. “The zardozi, dabka work I use comes from India,” he says. About having the First Lady, Michelle Obama, wearing his designs, he says, “That was a great moment, as she epitomises the woman I design for.”
Gurung, whose batchmates included designer Gautam Rakha, worked with designer Manish Arora while studying at NIFT. “He was always very stylish,” says Rakha. Gurung, who is interested in designing for actors, says, “Sonam Kapoor is the ultimate modern Indian fashionista. But I’d love to see Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in one of my creations.” Gurung adds that he loved Ash in the gold saree at the Cannes premiere of the film, Devdas, in 2002.