Summary: For my first time seeing a Naeem Khan show, I was literally tingling with anticipation at what to expect. Khan was this season’s featured Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week designer and I had been staring at his gorgeously styled confections in the lobby of the tents all week. But this was the main event; Khan has always been known for his dazzling array of evening wear that somehow manages to toe the line of dramatic and edgy, without being too over the top. The show’s program clued us in to the fact that the Fall’ 12 collection was inspired by “the decadence and dust of India” with a focus on the human as a medium of art and a canvas.
The color palette was decidedly more neutral that Khan usually goes for, yet it stayed true to his intent of incorporating traditional Indian symbology. The predominant plack tones represented the Hindu Tilakas, or symbols of body art, in which black wards of evil spirits. The taupe, metallics and browns were indicative of the decorative motifs that he Sadhu Indians use to cover their bodies in ash. And the underlying paisley theme that ran in and out of the collection is a commonly used and very recognizable sign of Indian fashion, so much so that Khan refers to it as “the mother of Indian design”.
The result was a collection steeped in culture, without coming off too costumey or National Geographic. Some of the themes Khan took literally, such as the palette and the prints, but he still brought the styles over to the Western world and into the modern day with of the moment silhouettes (one shoulder gowns, capes, tailored pants) and materials (feathers, fringe, silk faille, paillettes). Truly this show was a splendor to watch and my only consolation for it ending so quickly is that I knew I would see many of the pieces pop up again on the red carpet.
Color Palette: black, silver, gold, paisley metallic, grey, taupe, floral-deco, ivory, gold rose-swirl, sand geometric, olive, sand abstract, navy abstract, white hand-painted swirl-dot, white fan-dot, black/white stripe, white rose-swirl, black heart-swirl, taupe paisley-metallic, gold, bronze metallic, sterling silver
Fabrics and Textures: silk faille, silk, wool tweed, silk georgette, ostrich feather, deco beaded, fringe, threadwork embroidered, felt-appliqued, mirrored crystal beading, chiffon, satin, matte jersey, stretch scuba, antiqued mirrored beading, dome-beaded wool crepe, basket weave silk, organza, silk gazar, lace, georgette, beaded lace, degrade threadwork embroidered, silk chiffon, chantilly lace, tulle, metallic floral beading, paillette
Key Looks: Grey/Silver Paisley Metallic-Threadwork Embroidered Jacket & Skirt in Silk/Wool Tweed, Taupe Floral-Deco Beaded Sheath Dress in Silk/Wool, Black/Sand Abstract Felt-Appliques Cape in Silk Faille w/Mirrored Ctystal Beading Over Black Satin Cigarette Pant and Tank, Black Stretch-Scuba Strapless Dress w/Antiqued Mirrored Beading, Black/White Fan-Dot Print Strapless Cocktail Dress in Organza, Black/white rose-Swirl Threadwork Embroidered Jacket and Skirt in Chantilly Lace, Silver/Taupe, Paisley-Metallic Jumpsuit in Tulle, Sterling Silver Paillette Gown w/ L/S and Open Back
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