Prabal Gurung Spring 2020 Was Equal Parts Politics and Elegance

Things have not gone as planned for Prabal Gurung this season of New York Fashion Week—though, as his spring/summer 2020 show proved on Sunday, the last-minute changes ultimately led the Nepalese-American designer to one of his best outings yet. Originally, Gurung had planned to celebrate his label's 10th anniversary at New York's most sparkling new venue: Hudson Yards. When it came out that the billionaire real estate tycoon behind the development, Stephen Ross, was hosting a $100,000-a-plate-plus fundraiser at his home in the Hamptons in support of Donald Trump, however, Gurung pulled out—and, in his statement to announce as much took care to denounce white supremacy as well. Since Trump's election, Gurung has established himself as one of the industry's most vocal—and, importantly, active—critics of his administration. This time around, though, he managed to deliver his critique in particularly beautiful fashion, with a collection that explored the question of "Who gets to be American?" through motifs like roses—the national flower—which harkened back to his glamorous perception of America when he was growing up in Nepal. In the end, the show was equal parts politics and elegance; see for yourself by joining models like Lindsey Wixson and Tao Okamoto for an up-close look backstage.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

Backstage at the Prabal Gurung SS20 show during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.

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