Prabal Gurung’s SS23 Collection Comes With A Gen-Z Edge

Look inside how New York City’s outer boroughs breathe new life into fashion through their club scenes and outfits. 

Wondering what comes after the Y2K craze? Prabal Gurung’s latest collection might be part of the answer.

The Spring-Summer 2023 collection from the Nepalese-American New York-based designer saw him delve into an edgier, more clubwear aesthetic than some of his previous designs. Mixing leather with tulle, skin with suits, and acid wash denim with corsetry, we see him fuse hints of 2010’s indie-sleaze with the bright aesthetics of 2000s fashion.

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Burdened by the cultural and political atmosphere of the past year, feeling like he just didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, Gurung ventured to the outer boroughs of New York City and watched as the next generation breathed new fire into him. Replenishing the fire he felt from his mother as a boy that kept his creativity flowing all these years.

Gurung was miles from Manhattan, around the world from Nepal, but never felt more at home.

The designer caught inspiration from the radical individualism of New York’s nightlife scenes, the confidence of the new kids on the block, and the styles that were so unique to each person but bound them all together.

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He made this feeling of inspiration tangible through juxtaposing fabrics and materials and silhouettes that blend formality with flirty.

One of the most notable recurrent themes is the use of sculpted leather gloves and tights as layering tools underneath more formal pieces, like a soft blue silk gown with contrasting leather and a multicolored ostrich feather dress with the same leather accents.

Another theme was the showing of skin combined with typical suit attire. We watched as a long-tailored ivory crepe suit jacket strutted down the runway with nothing but a see-through silk pant and shirt combo. Not to mention the soft pink cropped suit set that contained a cut-out around the waist that felt almost as if an exposed jockstrap was suitable meeting attire. 

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The hair and makeup matched the youthful edge of the collection, with multiple models sporting a Julia Fox-Esque eyeliner look and some with bright neon hair that is so common amongst Gen Z.

This collection makes clear that whatever Gen Z is doing on the streets and in the clubs, it’s catching on in big ways. Just ask Prabal Gurung.

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