Fashion weeks, be it New York or Paris, often see designers bring their most creative or most controversial game on the ramp. Singapore-born Nepali-American fashion designer Prabal Gurung has grabbed quite the attention with his debut at the New York Fashion Week. Reason? He made models sashay down the ramp wearing sindoor.
Prabal Gurung showcased his new line for Fall/Winter 2023 on Friday, February 10. His creation was a tribute to his roots and his homeland, Nepal. He did so by making high fashion meet Buddhism.
Models wore sindoor in various colours, from saffron, burgundy and dusty pinks, to white and even black; and obviously red. The colour of the sindoor was in sync with the colour of the outfit the model was wearing.
Here are some photos:
The sindoor is the symbol of purity in Nepali culture. It is seen as an auspicious part of the religious and cultural rituals of Nepal, especially in Hindu families. It symbolises good luck, bravery, and auspiciousness.
To turn this idea into reality on the ramp, Gurung said he visited his homeland Nepal for a 10-day silent retreat at the suggestion of his mother.
While Gurung's collection and the sindoor received a lot of appreciation for taking Nepali culture to the New York ramp, it received mixed reactions from people online.
For some, it was more of a 'stunt' or cultural appropriation.
Check out some of the reactions:
Accusations of cultural appropriation have bothered art for a long time, and Prabal Gurung seems to be the latest victim of the same. However, the counter argument is that the designer himself is a Nepali, and he paying a tribute to his own Nepali roots hardly comprise cultural appropriation.
What do you think? Was Prabal Gurung just paying a tribute to his roots or does this deserve the cultural-appropriation criticism? Let us know in the comments.
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