Naeem Khan loves high drama. His runway shows are always a dazzling display of bejeweled gowns, flowing caftans and other glittery evening attire presented in an attention-getting way. In this instance, each model sported floral embellishments above each ear and a jeweled nose ring.
For his spring/summer 2018 collection, Khan paid tribute to famed prima ballerina Anna Pavlova with such ballet references as a pleated tulle skirt with a long-sleeved midriff-baring jeweled top and ballet-slipper ribbons wrapped around stilettos, as such celebrities as Paula Abdul looked on.
"Pavlova was the most amazing ballet dancer," Khan told the Associated Press before his show. "She's global, she traveled the world ... taking influences from countries like India, Mexico, France, America. To me, somebody like this, her life, is what makes my collection. So, I have fabrics from different parts of the world."
Indeed the designer, a native of India, seemed in a wanderlust mood, dotting capes, dresses, and evening gowns in raffia fringe detail and boldly colored tribal patterns.
The collection opened with a dozen black-and-white looks — our favorite is sporty drawstring tuxedo pants with a lace bustier — before exploding into an assortment of bright colors — an aqua one-shoulder trimmed in silver, a sunshine yellow halter gown with ombre tulle skirt, a coral tea-length dress with floral bodice, and a lavender gown trimmed in rows of multi-color fringe.
Ending the production with a showstopping look has been a recent trademark of Khan's runway shows and this one featured an eye-popping embroidered ivory ball gown with tiered raffia fringe. High above the action, we spotted a familiar face: Fly Productions Creative event designer and fashion show producer Melissa d’Attilio directed the show from a booth above the runway. D'Attilio recently moved to Houston but returned to New York to produce Khan's runway show.
While Khan has clients all over the world, from Dubai to Houston, he finds one common thread: They all want to look "elegantly sexy," he said.
Backstage after the show, Khan looked unusually relaxed as he clowned around with Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing. Kahn was forced to finish his collection a month early since he had promised to attend a friend's birthday celebration in Italy a few days before New York Fashion Week.
Because of that (early start) we had so much time to refine so many things that the collection turned out to be amazing," he told Women's Wear Daily. "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 Houston, the Naeem Khan collection is available at Elizabeth Anthony.