Skip to main content

Naeem Khan, who moved in Andy Warhol’s circle, knows from parties, but instead of hosting a big shebang to mark the first two decades of his brand, he focused all of his attention on the fall collection. That focus paid off: this was a strong, streamlined outing. “It’s my DNA of 20 years put with the times of today, that was the whole idea, basically,” said the designer backstage (after taking his bow with his dog.) “I wanted to pull out all the stops, and I just wanted what I do best… it has to be craft, just a lot of craft.”

Indeed it was. Khan is the scion of a textile company and has access to extraordinary fabrics and artisans who seem to have magic in their fingers. This savoir-faire is precious and with a few exceptions the designer applied it judiciously. There was less fringe (a plus) and more lightness both in the beaded dresses and the fabric ones. (The material used for look five, for example, was semi-sheer and the dress seemed to float around the model.) Of course the feathered looks had a flutter all of their own, not to mention glamour to spare.

Khan is of a generation of New Yorkers who used to go out and dance—Pat Cleveland was grooving in her front-row seat today—and the opening looks, dresses hung with metal medallions, had a movement and a music all their own. These were used to different effect on look 20, a sheer slip dress with beads and feather work. Even Khan’s mermaid dress (look 30) got a makeover; for fall it was rendered in emerald with built-out power shoulders. New for the season, and welcome, were evening separates that should attract new customers, allowing them to buy into part of the dream. Front-rows and sidewalks show us that there is an appetite for glamour. (Real Housewives anyone?) It seemed ironic that Róisín Murphy’s song “Simulation” opened the show; in a world where real and fake are increasingly indistinguishable, the splendor of the hand work at “The House of Khan” (which was the signage that greeted guests), can only be described as mighty real.