Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring ’13: Naeem Khan’s Earth, Wind, Water and Fire

September 11, 2012 • Fashion, Fashion Blog, Fashion Shows, New York Fashion Week Spring '13

Summary: In a move akin to several well known evening wear designers, Naeem Khan chose this season to demonstrate his prowess in designing for day. Inspired by “Exotic Gardens, Fiery Skies, and the Arabian Sea” Khan drew from the earthly elements in both his palette and his patterns. The theme ranged from the figurative — a billowing blue ballgown skirt to represent a crashing wave — to the literal — palm frond prints and floral appliques to signify nature — with the underlying touch of Khan’s distinctly Eastern influence.  He paid homage to traditional Moroccan art with intricate detailing and metal embellishments and of course, added an extra wink to his native India with sari-like one shoulder gowns, detailed borders and metallic beading.

I personally preferred the more abstract and more artful representations of Khan’s muse. The patterns seemed almost too literal to the point of gimmicky. But the ombre hues of the orange”Sunset Print” and the blue “Wave Print” were stunning, and welcome modernity into Khan’s oft traditional line of silhouettes. Other standouts included the elaborately beaded caftans toward the end of the collection. In a rainbow of colors, they could satisfy virtually any season in any country on the globe and are a lighter alternative to the standard evening gown. As for the newer treads into day wear, the cute little belted sheaths and elegant pants (pants! At Naeem Khan!) are sure to become must-have pieces for his dedicated following. All in all, the master of embellished evening wear proved that even when the sun is up, he can just as easily shine.

Colors: Black, White, Rose Print, Navy, Blue Multi, Sepia, Nude, Cafe Palm Frond Print, Floral, Blue, Red, Coral, Orange, Marigold, Sunset Print, Silver

Fabrics and Textures: Organza, dupioni, jet beading, leather, sating, cotton sateen, raffia, cashmere, gazar, georgette, ivory beading, diamond medallion beading, tulle, satin, chiffon, threadwork, embroidered, metallic floral beading, paillettes, lace, appliqued, silver metallic beading

Key Looks: Black/White rose print dupioni off-shoulder trumpet gown, navy/white raffia embroidered  bias-cut satin dress with circle skirt, Blue gazar ballgown with ivory beaded bodice, Sepia sunflower print dupioni shift dress, navy jet beaded georgette dolman sleeve gown, orange sunset print one shoulder gazar cocktail dress, coral chiffon caftan with floral medallion beading, blue chiffon caftan with silver metallic floral beading

–Alia Rajput

Photos: WWD

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