Prabal Gurung Spring 2011: Mindful and Refined for Smart Girls

By now a fixture on the high-profile end of fashion week, Prabal Gurung presented a spring 2011 collection enriched with maturity on top of his usual penchant for gentle glamor.

The standouts in his audience were perhaps indicative of the designer's direction for the spring collection, which he described as respectfully geared toward a woman's intelligence -- the front-row was populated by an A-list more familiar to the fashion-based society pages including Elettra Wiederman and Poppy Delevingne, who sat with former First Daughter Barbara Bush (looking fashion-forward in strapless black maxi, shoulder bag and vintage-looking statement necklace). Also on hand was the striking "baby-vamp" of True Blood, Deborah Ann Woll (Gurung gushed to Woll backstage about how his obsession with the show). Suzy Menkes, Roberta Myers and the Elle team and Hamish Bowles with his Vogue co-horts rounded out the front row.

The collection was at once cerebral and pretty. Beige, white, orange, turquoise and coral splashed across boldly contructs of ruching and exaggerating ruffle spirals and inventive detailing at the shoulders and hips. Skirts hit the knee or the floor, and buttons were buttoned. The most wild thing to shimmy down the catwalk was a reigned-in fringe of thick silk ribbon and unique materials like latex, shredded, rubberized fil coupe and Swarovski crystals, while sheer paneling also gave the elegance some energy. Suiting separates spoke for themselves with clean lines and tight fits and one black dress managed to stand out in its strong, athletic lines and silent-but-deadly sex appeal.

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