Gemma Chan and Awkwafina sat front row, showing love to the designer who supported their blockbuster film and its message of representation.
In the lead-up to the opening of Crazy Rich Asians, the first studio film in 25 years to star an all-Asian cast, designer Prabal Gurung, a Nepalese immigrant, was one of several Asian-American designers to host an early screening to help generate buzz.
And Sunday night, two of the film’s stars, Awkwafina and Gemma Chan, returned the favor, sitting front row for his New York Fashion Week show, under a ceiling strung with rainbow prayer flags.
“He’s one of the most thoughtful designers out there,” said Chan, who has worn several of Gurung’s looks during the film’s press tour, during which she’s made a point of supporting Asian fashion talent. “I think he’s really aware of the power of his platform and what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to change fashion for the good from within, and make it more inclusive and more diverse, not just in terms of race but size and gender.”
“When you take a leap to mix politics into your profession, it’s a very powerful move, and he does it right, and I’m here for it,” added Awkwafina.
As is his way, for Spring 2019, Gurung was inspired by both where he comes from — including recent travels to the indigenous villages of his native Nepal — and where he is now, striding the big city streets of New York, Tokyo, London and Mumbai. The two melded into an East-West, multicultural melange of color, shape and thoughtful detail, that also marked the introduction of the designer’s first menswear, another personal journey for him.