NEW YORK (AP) — Surrounded by long-time friends and his dog, Naeem Khan marked 20 years of glamorous designs at his New York Fashion Week show.
The designer, recognized by his eveningwear that has graced the covers of magazines and worn by celebrities on red carpets, has no plans of stopping the momentum that got him where he is today. If anything, he’s expanding his brand with more stores, hotels and a painting exhibition.
Khan delivered nearly 50 looks Tuesday, all of which took about five months and 600 people to complete. A model wearing a hand-sewn antique gold metal fringe cocoon dress opened the show as attendees held roses in their hands as a Valentine’s Day gift from Khan. The cocoon dress sparkled and danced as the model cat walked down the runway. Each of Khan’s looks had an air of sophistication with his alluring and refined touch.
For Khan, he still has something to prove even after 20 years.
“I just want to show you that we in America can make couture like Paris,” he said. “It’s all about craftsmanship.”
After two decades the extensiveness of Khan’s repertoire is proof of his craft and it showed Tuesday as models walked in threes and fours, each wearing a similar style of glitzy sheer fabric but each with their own individual yet cohesive look. With a black and gold glittering floral sheer fabric, Khan created a tea-length dress, a cocoon caftan and a sexy embroidered slip dress. The collection was a trove of gems to pick from for any formal occasion.
Pat Cleveland, a model and former Halston muse, cheered some of the models on as they strutted down the runway. (Khan worked alongside legendary designer Halston at the start of his career.)
“In fashion the decades give you so much gravitas it’s like the history of you, and where he’s been and what he has brought to the profession,” Cleveland said. “Decades of sparkle.”
Ubah Hassan, who has been cast in the remake of “Real Housewives of New York,” said each piece of Khan’s collection was better than the other.
“This man works,” she said. “He literally sent an army of people.”
While Khan played with geometric beading, he also had fun with feathers and needle pointing. A red and green floral needlepoint design gave the flowers on a long-sleeve dress and jumpsuit an almost 3D like quality, and ostrich feathers that lined the hem of a dress or were formed to make a stunning blue feather cape offered a youthful touch.
“In fashion, to sustain yourself for 20 years and to have a business that can be successful for 20 years is not an easy task,” Khan said. “To have all my ladies who love my stuff it is so meaningful to me, and it just keeps me going.”