DALLAS — The mood was so festive at the Night of Stars gala here Friday night that many rose to their feet to dance as models in glittering Naeem Khan dresses flitted down the runway to the Donna Summers disco classic “Last Dance.”
It was the finale of Fashion Group International of Dallas Inc.’s annual awards ceremony, which honored Khan for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion before an audience of 270 at the newly opened Thompson Hotel Dallas.
The show featured the designer’s spring collection plus some oldies that reflected his time working with Halston and partying at Studio 54.
“We are sending a message out there that that life became precious after COVID-19, and we need to enjoy, to love each other, and we need to have a great time because things can end pretty quickly,” Khan told WWD.
Khan’s sons Shariq, his chief operating officer, and Zaheen, couture sales director, presented the trophy to their father.
“It’s the fourth generation of our business,” Khan said proudly, noting that his father and grandfather in India had dressed royalty.
Special occasion dressing, which was severely impacted by the pandemic, is back in a big way, the designer said. “My business has tripled this year,” Khan said. “People who were waiting to have events or get married suddenly are waking up, and everybody is doing it. We are kind of catching up for what we lost in COVID-19.”
The black-tie dinner gala also feted Jonathan Adler with an award for Career Achievement in Design, though he privately protested, “I’m just praying it’s not lifetime achievement. I better be g-dd–n mid-career.”
To the audience Adler said, “I still think I’m the ingénue that I was at the start. I think the fountain of youth is passion and creativity.”
The home furnishings designer and potter, who describes his style as “chic with optimism,” will open his largest store — 6,600 square feet — here on Nov. 29 at West Village shopping center.
“Dallas rocks,” Adler said during the cocktail hour, noting he has been visiting friends here since his college days at Brown University. “I always felt like Dallas is this parallel universe where people are fun and upbeat and always like to party.”
FGI Dallas also paid tribute to West Hollywood art photographer and Dallas native Gray Malin for Career Achievement in Design and Dee Lincoln for Career Achievement in Business. Lincoln cofounded and currently operates a namesake steakhouse here as well as a tasting room and bubble bar at Dallas Cowboys stadium.
Proceeds from the Night of Stars fund FGI Dallas’ annual disbursement of about $30,000 in scholarships to aspiring fashion designers.