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The week before New York Fashion Week is not an ideal time for most New York designers to slip away, but Naeem Khan was forced to get his collection done early in order to jet off to celebrate a friend’s birthday in Italy. Below, Khan sends a postcard from his travels.

I’ve been to the Amalfi Coast before, on my friends’ big yachts and things, and I love Positano.

This time it was a whole different plan that we had; my friend was celebrating her birthday, and it was 10 of us. I was her guest so it was going to be one of the most extravagant, luxurious 10 days; and can you imagine me trying to do this two weeks before my collection? She would have it no way that I wouldn’t go.

So I landed in Napoli, and then we stayed at the Excelsior, all of us, and we went to an amazing restaurant; she is a princess and all of us are from somewhere or another — all these celebrities hang out at this restaurant. The food, the performances…and with her, every day has to be an event. One night we had gypsy kings, one night we decided we were going to cook pizza together and the boys were cooking pizza in this amazing oven.

[We then went to] this island, Li Galli, by boat…you’re met with this team of nymphets that are singing in the wood and you go up the steps and there is this man with all the charms — it’s like you’re entering another world, and you are taken to this Moroccan mansion, which is on this private island. Each of us had the most amazing room — some of us were staying in the fort, which was a stone [building] originally used to keep an eye out on the pirates. The dinners and the flowers…it was just an enchanting 10 days.

Like most designers, everybody wakes up at the last moment. This time, I decided that I was going to start my collection and literally try and finish it a month ahead of schedule because of this event. My collection this time, because of that [early start] we had so much time to refine so many things that the collection turned out to be amazing. My friend’s party was a great blessing in disguise for me. It taught me to work in advance so that I have lots of time to further improve on my techniques. It turned out to be one hell of a magical thing for me, going on this vacation. In the night, when it was dark, the demons came out and you felt like “What are you doing here, you need to be there working”— my nights were not great but my days were amazing.

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