Fashion / Style

Gigi and Bella Hadid’s Touching Sisterly Love Turns Heads at New York Fashion Week: Prabal Gurung Goes Activist with Supermodel Siblings

BY // 02.16.18

NEW YORK — In recent seasons, Prabal Gurung has added an activist element to his runway shows by championing feminism and calling for a new, broader definition of femininity. So it didn’t come as a total surprise that Gurung dedicated his fall ’18 collection to matriarchal groups like the Mosuo tribe in China and India’s Gulabi Gang — “the graceful women with quiet strength, resilience, and unrelenting desire for independence.”

Gurung, who was born and raised in Nepal, noted that the Gulabi Gang wear pink saris and the Mosou are known for bright fabrics, cinched and secured with thick belts. He translated the look into a powerful collection for the western woman, with perhaps his most colorful collection yet.

It opened with model Gigi Hadid in a patterned pink wrap paired with a high-slit orchid-colored skirt and white cashmere turtleneck with oversized fur sleeves and closed with sibling Bella Hadid in a strapless red velvet cape gown with a gold cord belt.

In between were slip dresses, puffer jackets, sturdy knit sweaters, and sequined gowns in bright shades of purple, raspberry, hot pink and cherry red, with a variety of embellishments, from maribou feathers to embroidered pearls, and textures, from velvet to lace insets.

The models walked amid several colorful mandalas from colored sand created on the runway by artist Joe Mangrum. Afterwards, the mandalas were swept away, indicating the ephemeral nature of life.

“It’s about the idea of impermanence, which I’m really fascinated by,” Gurung tells The New York Times. “Buddhist monks spend hours and days creating something like this, and once it’s done, they blow it away. It’s this idea of not holding onto anything.”

In the music-free finale, models walked out en mass, each carrying a white rose, which has become a symbol of the #MeToo movement. The Hadid sisters strolled together and as they left the runway, Bella looped her arm around Gigi’s back, a touching gesture to end the show.

The eclectic front-row audience ranged from Cardi B. and Whoopi Goldberg to Tarana Burke, the founder of #MeToo, and Huma Abedin, the former top aide to Hillary Clinton.

In Houston, the Prabal Gurung collection is available at Elizabeth Anthony.

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