>> He filled in as chief designer at Bill Blass for the Spring 2008 season before Peter Som took over, and was set to produce the Fall 2009 Blass collection after Som left until things with the label fell apart. Now former Blass design director Prabal Gurung is striking out on his own with a signature label for Fall 2009, his first show kicking off Fashion Week Feb. 12. And judging by the pre-show coverage — WWD, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Fashion Week Daily — he'll do just fine, even in a recession.
Working out of his makeshift showroom — an on-loan studio apartment that belongs to an editor friend — Gurung, who has been selling made-to-measure to private clients for a few years, is putting the finishing touches on his self-funded, twenty-look collection, which he says is all about "well-made clothes": "At Bill Blass, I learned the way clothes are supposed to be made — there are no shortcuts. Just well-finished clothes. That’s the kind of approach I’m taking — it’s not about being trendy."
It helps that he already has the industry support — "It’s been very emotional, the amount of support I’ve gotten, without asking" — and scoring coveted casting agent James Scully and T Magazine and former British Vogue stylist Tiina Laakkonen to cast and style the show, respectively, won't hurt. Now it's all about bringing that sketch of four of his Fall 2009 looks to life — we'll be watching.