Without any context, Naeem Khan’s fall runway was a kaleidoscopic mash-up of vibrant colors, textures and intricate embroidery on a wide range of evening silhouettes. And surely, glamorous excess is what his customers want. He has been focused on expanding the meaning of cocktail attire for a younger consumer over the years, namely adding in tracksuits and separates that challenge convention. The collection was certainly brimming with artful displays of color and drama, but it also carried a beautiful message of celebrating the diversity of female beauty the world over.
Backstage before the show, Khan hinted at subliminal messages of power and elegance informed by his travels. “I’m taking inspiration from all these beautiful women who are working in the fields or in the mountains and I’m taking embroideries from them and I’m making it into glamorous evening.” He blended Italian textiles with artisanal Peruvian handwork, mixed in a Japanese kimono and threw in Spanish ruffles and Indian embroidery for good measure. There were a couple too many references to clearly see the connective thread, but then again, his fanciful pieces have a more-is-more approach that attract women with an exuberant flair.
What felt most refreshing were pieces with a relaxed bent. Any number of the tracksuits easily pit comfort against sophistication. With the dominance of street-leaning ath-leisure on the runway, it was nice to see something special that can’t easily be replicated.