13 Sep Runway2DC: Naeem Khan SS13 – Transforming Fashiontonians into the Belles of the Ball
by ATFDC Contributor Susan Stipanovich
Indian-born designer Naeem Khan founded his eponymous label in 2003, presenting his first collection at Olympus Fashion Week in 2005. His work is ornate, intricately detailed, and best known for red-carpet gowns employing handmade fabrics. The label is carried in more than 200 stores, including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Clients include: Padma Lakshmi, Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, Alicia Keys, Princess Aga Khan, Carrie Underwood, and Michelle Obama. “So much of Naeem’s success is being able to take his family’s background, with its knowledge of embroidery and beadwork, and use a light hand to get a very modern approach. His clothes are sexy, and still have a lovely romantic quality about them. You are the star when you wear the clothes.” Ken Downing, City Magazine.
Never was this statement more true than for his Spring/Summer 2013 collections. Khan outdid himself with piece after piece that prompted the audience to emit ‘ohhhs’ and ‘awws’ of appreciation. Gorgeous frocks with beautiful full skirts and flawless beading and sequin detail would transform any Fashiontonian into the belle of the ball. Any woman wearing one of Khan’s pieces from this collection would find themselves the focus of any event, no matter how glamorous. Vibrant colors embellished with crystals, beads, and ribbons showcased Khan’s painstaking attention to details.
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The audience even clapped when Khan began sending models down the runway in Moroccan-inspired frocks. Breathtaking sheer dresses in vibrant shades of yellow, red and blue embellished with elaborate beading at the neckline. Fashiontonians will swoon over these gorgeous caftan-like dresses that are a unique option for formal events sure to set the wearer apart from all other guests. Womens Wear Daily gushed, “He played with Moroccan references using a rich palette that ranged from neutrals to pops of bold color, interspersed with some great digital prints of a breaking ocean and fiery red sunset, which appeared on flouncy cocktail dresses.
Khan’s silhouette was cleaner and lighter than in seasons past, due not only to the airy fabrics but also a new restraint in his signature beadwork. Even fully beaded evening gowns appeared lighter — notably the nude Deco-inspired caftan.” Fashiontonians should take advantage of Khan’s collection to make jaws drop at the many spring events in the District and beyond.
Susan Stipanovich is a stylist and writer who lives and works in Washington D.C. She researches counter terrorism methods and international security sector reform in Africa and the Middle East by day as a Department of Defense associate and spends her free time curating a fashionable lifestyle through her blog Hepburn Loves Givenchy.