Prabal Gurung Delivers ‘Intelligence’-Inspired Spring Collection

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Prabal with the slit skirt (center) that took a week to make. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz

This afternoon at Lincoln Center, design darling Prabal Gurung's spring show attracted teams of editors from Vogue and Elle (seated within healthy distances, of course). With Brad Goreski behind her, Rachel Zoe sat a ways down from Team Vogue in the front row, pursing her red lips as though the clothes were making her think hard and feel things. Her performance ought to provide excellent B-roll for Bravo, whose cameras followed the stylist backstage for a postshow love-fest with the designer. If Zoe was thinking hard, that was kind of the point, explained Gurung. "The collection was inspired by beautiful girls — beautiful, smart, intelligent girls, intelligence being the forefront of it." How does intelligence translate aesthetically? "The girl that I’m always designing for is never wearing the tight short dresses and showing what shouldn’t be shown," Gurung continued. "There’s a hint of it, but it’s sexuality and sensuality done intelligently."

While other designers are perfectly comfortable showing nipples and butt cheeks on the runway, Gurung stayed up all night trying to make sure one style of skirt with side slits wasn't too revealing. "That was one of my proudest. It took forever to make that because of the pattern — it was all hand stitched [at the bottom]," Gurung said. "If it’s slightly imbalanced, then it opens up too much." The total time to make the piece? "Probably at least a week. You know, there was a lot of stuff I was up all night working on, but that happens to be one of them."

See more: Prabal Gurung's Spring 2011 Collection