“I feel like I won an Oscar or something,” quipped the perpetually-smiling Prabal Gurung last night at a MAC-sponsored private Indochine dinner celebrating his Resort 2013 collection. Co-host and Estée Lauder group president John Demsey confessed to “pulling together” the fete on an email blast in just three to four days: “This speaks to the power of Prabal.” And considering the high-profile attendees—including Diane Von Furstenberg, Zoe Saldana, and Olivier Zahm—this was indeed an accurate statement.
Before introducing buzzed-about musician Paloma Faith’s soulful, rafter-reaching set, Gurung toasted the night to the guests, his small team, and his best friends who he sassily but adorably calls his “sisters.” “Tonight’s about you!” emphasized the glowing designer. But, contrary to his humble wishes, guests like supermodel Joan Smalls only had the man of the hour and his beautiful designs on their mind. “If you watch the progression of his collection, you’re like, ‘Wow!’ I’m so happy for him because what he represents is such beautiful spirit,” said Smalls, who confessed to “instantaneously” connecting with Gurung when they first met.
A champagne-sipping Zoe Saldana, who has been close friends with Gurung since his days at Bill Blass, agreed. “I moved to LA, and he called me up and said, ‘I think I’m gonna start my own line.’ And I was like, ‘Do it. Run! I’m gonna say whatever your family says,’” she recalled, moments after being serenaded with a rousing version of “Happy Birthday,” initiated by Gurung on the mic. “We have very similar spirits,” Saldana continued. “We’re wild at heart, but we’re also very conservative because of the way we were brought up in our respective cultures. That has always been very transparent in his designs: even though he experiments with color and he’s bold and he’s very sensual, you always feel whole. You never feel in pieces… you always feel like, ‘I’m a woman.’” As for the bonafide style icon’s closet-raiding fantasies, she reveals: “It’s a mix between Tilda Swinton and Chloe Sevigny. And a little bit of Grace Jones… You always need some glitter!”
Between bear-hugs with Saldana and von Furstenberg and incessant photographer flash-bulbs shadowing his every move, Gurung’s wishes for the evening to be less about him and all about his supportive pals in attendance may have not come true. “I love nothing more than dancing, singing, drinking, and eating,” the designer had professed earlier in the evening, to the laughing crowd. If the overflowing champagne, the seemingly endless-course meal, and the sight of Gurung getting down on the dance floor with Saldana as DJ Chelsea Leyland blasted Rihanna’s “We Found Love” is any indication, the designer ultimately got at least a few of his wishes granted.