New York Fashion week has pulled so many stunts over the years that it’s hard to surprise or stun seasoned fans of the runway. This year, however, Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung caught his audience completely off guard when 30 monks walked onto his runway on Sunday.
The monks traveled to New York from Gurung’s native Nepal to chant a prayer of thanks for the world’s support following the devastating earthquake in April of this year. Following the runway show, Gurung said, “When the earthquake happened, the first people that came to our rescue in Nepal was the fashion industry here, and I wanted to show some kind of gratitude to them.” He told reporters after the show, “I go and visit the monastery (in Nepal) all the time, and I had this idea, and they wanted to do it.”
The monks may have launched the Spring 2016 show, but Gurung’s entire collection honored the Nepalese culture, especially the monk’s own aesthetic. Every piece that came down the runway was some variation of orange and yellow — tea rose, saffron, yellow — and there were some beautiful white pieces that featured intricate embroidery with the theme’s colors.
There were a ton of celebrities in attendance as well. Jennifer Hudson, Kylie Jenner, and Laverne Cox were all sitting front row, and Laverne was wearing a Gurung dress he designed especially for her.
While Gurung, of course, wants to produce beautiful clothes, he also wants to educate and heighten awareness about Nepal. “All I wanted to do is show a little of where I’m from,” he said, “and show it to the rest if the world. I hope they’ll be enticed to go visit, because that’s what Nepal needs right now.”
Nepal is still in need of support. If you would like to donate, visit the UNICEF site to make your contribution.
[Images via Instagram]