Known for his sparkly evening wear, Naeem Khan has decided to take a walk on the wild side with a fall collection he dubbed "decadent boudoir." The designer said he was inspired by Cabaret, and the set for his New York Fashion Week show resembled a Bob Fosse musical, with a wall of white lights on a black background that looked so much like a theater set I was halfway expecting Liza Minnelli to pop out.
Although Khan's show was more sensual and erotic than usual — one reviewer surmised that because the designer has launched a successful bridal line he feels comfortable venturing out into sultrier territory for his ready-to-wear line — it retains the luxurious elegance that has made him a red-carpet favorite.
Although Khan's show was more sensual and erotic than usual, it retains the luxurious elegance that has made him a red-carpet favorite.
Khan opened with a series of satin and crepe gowns and cocktail dresses dipped in gold filigree embroidery before showcasing luxe leopard prints, including a three-quarter-length lambskin coat over a print chiffon gown and a cocktail dress in a beaded leopard pattern and skirt of ostrich feathers dyed to match the animal spots.
The collection is almost entirely composed of nighttime looks, with entrance-making gowns in rose-and-black floral prints, body-hugging red beading, black-and-white harlequin patterns, and flapper-style silver-and-gold fringe that shakes as a woman walks. The collection's last look — a beaded gold gown with three-quarter-length sleeves — is Oscar ready.
And though the collection exudes sex appeal, many of the gowns have long sleeves, cap sleeves and illusion sleeves with embroidery. Even in Khan's wilder world, a woman gets to be especially sexy without showing too much skin.
Houston-raised stylist Ty Hunter was on the front row, eyeing several outfits for his top client, Beyoncé. He told the Hollywood Reporter that he had also attended Fashion Week shows by Dennis Basso; Vera Wang; Diane von Furstenberg; and Michael Costello, the former Project Runway contestant who created the white lace gown that the singer wore to the Grammys. Hunter said he found "at least three to four looks at each show, which is really unheard of."
Neither he nor Beyoncé will be at the Oscars next month, because the singer is resuming her tour in England on February 16. The show will incorporate some of the songs from her new album, which was unexpectedly released in mid-December.
"Most of the designers we've already used on the tour are revamping their looks. So they'll be some new costumes for sure. It will be exciting," he said.