The signs of a summer carnival were all there at the bonanza of a party unveiling Prabal Gurung's line for Target. There were corn dogs, a Tilt-a-Whirl, floral dresses and songs about young love, all housed in the giant space at Pier 57. The department store pulled out all the stops to recreate the warm feel of the designer's colorful low-priced collection—well, except for easing Wednesday's frigid weather, that is.
It might have been chilly, sure, but Gurung didn't see anything wrong with that.
"I didn't think it was that bold to hold it in winter," the designer told us. "I thought it was about celebrating, about having a great time. And it can be inside, look around."
We glanced around as instructed and with the faux-walls covered in Post No Bills signs, the aroma of onion rings, the clang of a hit bell atop the high striker game, the entire atmosphere was nearly convincing. Temperatures even rose slightly as crowds packed in, filling up on dumplings and empanadas from food trucks or trying a hand at ring toss games. And then there were the requisite actresses testing out the loud, radiant collection, including Rashida Jones, Analeigh Tipton, Olivia Thirlby, and Elizabeth Olsen.
"This is such a great idea for an event," Olsen said as she stood with a friend, the tilt-a-whirl behind them throttling revelers to and fro, up and down. "I love all the patterns that he chose, it's very romantic, and girly."
After we said goodbye, a photographer asked the actress if she would oblige a few pictures on the stomach-churning ride beside them—officially called the "Love Spin"—but she admitted to a crushing fear of heights.
And there was the reason for the event, the 80 pieces of high fashion priced to not break the bank, and giddy guests lined up for a chance to score a few looks before the public offering Sunday. The rush was a bit too much for Carey Mulligan, who swung by for just the quickest moment with Gurung before jetting off with an assistant, hopefully for a warmer climate. —Nate Freeman