The name “Frida” floated through the air, encircling the audience at the Naeem Khan Spring ’14 show like the tightly coiled braids atop the models’ heads. Indeed, as soon as the first intricate look was unveiled it was clear that Khan’s muse was the legendary Kahlo herself, as well as her rich Latino culture in general. Khan’s typical dalliance with embroideries and embellishments struck a new note this season, swapping out his oft-seen East Asian influences for the painterly flourish of Mexico and Latin America. Gowns abounded in shades of black, white, cream, nude, coral, red, gold, and tribal neon stripes. Aztec-like prints covered everything from caftans to minidresses and scarlet red flowers burst across off the shoulder frocks. And in true Khan fashion , there was barely a pant in sight.
The end of the show saw rich, robust gowns in black and gold, laced with heavy embroidery and boasting flamenco-like ruffles. And shockingly enough, this was a more understated collection! Khan can sometimes spin out his fairytales to the point of no return, and some critics were calling this collection a bit “all over the place”. But I loved that Khan took a concrete theme and interpreted it through his particular craft. The hand beading was so exquisite, in some place audible enough in it’s movement that it could be heard around the tent.
And the final trick Khan had up his sleeve? Taking a cue from the (not so) long ago days, Khan presented a sneak peek of his upcoming bridal line with — what else — a voluminous bridal ball gown with his signature touches of embroidery and lace. Even if not the most cohesive of collections, in a season marred by almost absolute black and white monotony, we can always count on Khan to light up a runway and get us excited for the next wave of glamorous, red carpet fashion.
Photo Source: NY Mag