With flower crowns and beauty pageant sashes with his message, Prabal Gurung asked a fundamental question of the day: who gets to be an American? I wanted to explore this idea of what America looks like, what Americana looks like, who does America belong to? For me, as an immigrant who came here almost 20 years ago … to chase the American dream of hope, of possibility Prabal Gurung, designer Adorning his runway on Sunday at New York Fashion Week with hanging bouquets mixed with flags from around the world, the designer celebrated diversity in size and ethnicity with his collection, using plus-size models, non-binary walkers and those of all colours. How did the face mask – a symbol of Hong Kong's anti-extradition bill protest – become a fashion accessory? He celebrated some standards of American fashion as well – cowboy boots included – juxtaposing denim, sportswear influences and grand colourful gowns for evening. Gurung, a Nepalese-American, produces between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of his clothes in his home base of New York. “I wanted to explore this idea of what America looks like, what Americana looks like, who does America belong to?” he said. There’s the pragmatism of T-shirts and jeans and there’s the fantasy and beautiful glamour of the evening wear. I wanted to marry those two and really question, who does this country belong to? Prabal Gurung “For me, as an immigrant who came here almost 20 years ago, I came here to chase the American dream of hope, of possibility. I’ve been able to contribute to the American economy.” STYLE Edit: Ermenegildo Zegna’s chic fall/winter 2019 collection embraces sustainable luxury Gurung said he was recently in a meeting where he had mentioned he wanted to define a new America and was challenged by somebody in the room, who said: “Well, you don’t look American.” It was crystal clear “what the implication was”, he said. That is what set him thinking: “What does America mean? America to me is the sum of all things,” he said. “Everyone coming together, and that’s the America I came for.” For spring 2020, his show finale included sashes draped on models asking his key question. Floral prints dominated, specifically the rose. Who Made My Clothes: How Gen Z ‘woke’ up luxury brands like Chanel and LV to fur-free and sustainable practices “It’s my favourite flower and also America’s national flower,” Gurung said. Models wore his crowns of flowers and also carried bunches in baskets and bouquets, as if the blooms were “welcoming different kinds of people in this world, in this country”, he said. He put roses of purple, red and yellow on everything from sashes and his statement dresses to men’s trousers and shirts. There was an optimistic shine to many of his looks. Others were adorned with loose feathers. Gurung mixed his celebratory roses with tie-dye prints. One men’s look in denim included open red lace at the shoulders and black cowboy boots. Another pair of cowboy boots came in red, worn with jeans and a sleeveless white cotton T-shirt. Prabal Gurung and Christian Siriano find inspiration in Nepal and diversity It was not all about the flowers, though. One sleeveless dress with a high side slit was a sparkling patchwork of green, purple, pink and yellow squares and triangles. “There’s the pragmatism of T-shirts and jeans and there’s the fantasy and beautiful glamour of the evening wear,” Gurung said. “I wanted to marry those two and really question, who does this country belong to?” Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .