SINGAPORE - Everyone loves to have some kind of claim to fame, and Singapore-born, Kathmandu-raised, Nepalese-American fashion designer Prabal Gurung is certainly famous enough for Singaporeans to want to claim him thanks to celebrity fans like Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Lawrence, Sarah Jessica Parker, Duchess Kate and of course Hailee Steinfeld.
Claim, and acclaim, him they did at the opening night of Singapore's Audi Fashion Festival 2014, with a full house of fashion media, socialites and celebrities out in full force to welcome home their adopted son.
Gurung brought with him his Autumn Winter 2014 collection that focused on the designer's roots, moving away from his more familiar 1950s style silhouettes, replacing them with soft volume, thick knits and lots of draping.
According to Gurung he was influenced by a recent trip to his homeland of Nepal, which in turn made him think about the even more remote Himalayan kingdom of Mustang, a land that was closed to outsiders as late as 1991.
Also new to the brand was an emphasis on sportswear shapes in this collection, the aforementioned knits in the form of thick sweaters, more pants, a bomber-style jacket (albeit done in feathers) and sweatshirts paired with thin turtleneck knits - that were also worn with everything, including under the two evening gowns that closed the show.
The designer's signature cocktail dresses showed off his draping skills with added depth coming from the wide variety of fabrics used; each garment was created from various textures - everything from silks and metallic jacquards to a heavy canvas by way of wools, knits and ostrich feathers. Gurung also managed to tap another major trend for AW14 with the use of cut-outs on many of the dresses.
Using mostly neutral shades of grey, cream, black, white, and metallic silver, Gurung added the colours of the Himalayas and its people - rich crimson, bordeaux, deep green and a strong orange - to created a very inviting palette that really resonates with Asian tastes.
Closing the Singapore show were two of the stunning red carpet gowns the designer is known for; one in red and the other in black, these two pieces were what many in the audience had come for and they showed their appreciation by oohing and ahhing.
While Gurung's venture into sportswear-inspired looks may have been a little off-putting for some of his fans, the elegance with which he did it shows that this is a designer who has a lot more to him than simply creating a perfect look, or three, for the Met Ball.
The Prabal Gurung Autumn Winter 2014-15 runway show opened Audi Fashion Festival 2014 at the Tent @ Orchard, on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. For more information about Prabal Gurung, go to www.prabalgurung.com.
Audi Fashion Festival 2014 happening from May 14 to 18, 2014. Tickets are available at sistic.com. For more information, go to www.audifashionfestival.com.
Get updates on AFF 2014 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AudiFashionFestivalSingapore, on Twitter @AudiFashionFest and Instagram @AudiFashionFest and by following the hashtag #affsg.