THE INSIDER: PRABAL GURUNG

"when everyone's obsessed with a trend, it makes it uncool."

Between collaborations with J.Crew and GAP and his own luxe Ready to Wear collections, Prabal Gurung is a total master at hopscotching the line between exclusive and affordable. But good luck getting your hands on his latest designs.... unless you happen to work at Sephora. The CFDA winner has teamed up with the beauty giant to revamp their traditional black outfits into sleek "cast costumes," which will debut in stores this spring. Get a first look at the sketches and see what the designer has to say about Madonna, school uniforms, and side braids below.

How did the collaboration come about?
They approached us. We knew about the basic brand background, and I wanted to create outfits that were a combination of design and function.

How so?
Well there are several options to choose from, but the shift dress has little pleats in the back which are good for bending over and walking. We wanted to offset the all black with the red details on the side and the back.

Why red?
It's my favorite color! I love it.

Did you ever have to wear a uniform growing up?
Oh yes...I went to a British Catholic school so I had to wear a blazer, a tie, nice pants. It was really strict- the nuns and priests would get mad if you broke the uniform.

What is one women's trend that you're not a fan of?
2 things. The first is the overly tight dress- it leaves nothing to the imagination. I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about! It doesn't make you look younger or chic, it's just not good. I'm also sick of the side braided hair, which is still everywhere! When everyone's obsessed with one trend, it makes it uncool [laughing].

What do you wish people would wear more of?
I wish more people would adopt a basic, genuinely optimistic outlook. I get it, it's New York and it's cold out and we all have our bad things, but I think that would help. It's not a fashion thing, but it's just a better attitude.

Last question: what do you like to listen to when you're stressed out in the studio?
Oh my gosh, it's so many songs! It all depends. Madonna is classic, but lately I've been listening to a lot of Rihanna, a lot of Lana Del Rey. For me I listen to everything ,btu you know that song "Holiday" from Madonna? It doesn't matter whether you love or hate it, but you can't help but get into it.