The Indian-American designer pays homage to his adopted country in an election year
Naeem Khan’s pre-fall collection was all about summer ease: think lightweight and casual silhouettes perfect for an outdoor wedding. It’s a given that the collection was also underscored by the designer’s signature brand of glamour, yet with a softer approach than in seasons past.
The big novelty here was his use of stretch sequins — bright and playful solid colors cut into easy shapes like a little cardigan jacket, sleeveless tops and slouchy elastic waist pants. The colors ranged from bold to unexpected, including blue, silver, orange and lime green. Khan has used the fabric in recent collections to craft slinky Halston-esque gowns; those have sold so well that it was natural to offer up lounge-y separates in the same fabric that worked for multiple occasions. The shimmer errs on the side of evening, but the ease of familiar separates silhouettes that also work for a dressy office outfit when styled with jeans or a simple T-shirt.
There was a focus on drawing in new, younger customers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a traditional Naeem gown. The sequin stretch items are priced competitively, as are fringe beaded tops, best-selling poncho shawls with floral embroidery and airy organza blouses.
There were, naturally,
Naeem Khan lives in a world of opulence. Elaborately embroidered gowns, as in one this season with captivating floral appliqué, and drama, like red and navy iterations of a bridal jumpsuit with overskirt, factor heavily into his seasonal offerings. But with jumpsuits and short flirty dresses accounting for 40 percent of his bridal business, Khan is aware of a want for ease. His previous endeavors from spring and resort, especially, have focused on separates and an approachable glamour for a younger clientele.
He continued that narrative for pre-fall, and the range of occasions was quite vast. For girls not quite ready for a long-term commitment, Khan offered sheer beaded jackets and delicate yet formal sweaters that easily transitioned day-to-night for multiple wear opportunity. Silhouettes remained relaxed, as in sequined or drawstring pants with skin-baring side strips that maintained an element of allure. He offered new bold jungle and tropical prints for summer destinations, too, cut into lightweight, packable dresses and a body-curving caftan. The real standouts here were minimalistic dresses influenced by his time at Halston, including sequin knit dresses that form like liquid on the body and a new version of a caftan in seductive red that’s fitted in front