August 30 2014

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7 posts tagged "Naeem Khan"

Short Stuff and Pretty Pinks: Fall ’14 Bridal Breaks The Mold


Vera Wang BridalLeave it to Vera Wang to electrify the Fall ’14 bridal season with a veritable rainbow of high-impact pink gowns. “It was very ironic, I thought, to show pink for winter, and I wanted to explore ultimate femininity—but with an edge,” offered the designer of her blush, rosebud, and coral wares. Wang, who in the past has shown bridal looks in bloodred and black, was influenced by the “glamour of old Dior,” but she modernized that concept via strictly draped bodices, thoughtful beading, and blossoming origami flower embellishments, which sat on the skirts of full tulle options or mermaid silhouettes.

Carolina Herrera also turned out a nontraditional collection—though hers broke the mold in length, not hue. “I got married the second time in a short dress,” said Herrera. “I’ve been going to a lot of weddings lately, and I see the brides wearing long gowns for the ceremony, and suddenly they change into a short one. So I thought, why not short?” she said of her knee- and tea-length frocks. Don’t mistake short for simple, though—sequins, elaborate floral appliqués, lace, feathers, pearls, and moonstone all made an appearance in the range, as did pockets, which gave the dresses a fresh, youthful feel. Don’t fret, traditional brides; most of the gowns are available for order in full-length styles as well.

Short cocktail dresses turned up at Marchesa, too. Inspired by The Secret Garden, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig’s Fall outing was positively enchanting, and included scads of chantilly, point d’esprit, handmade floral appliqués, and pearl-studded tulle. The pair also offered longer gowns with trumpet skirts and delicate lace sleeves, which were terrific options for those wanting a classic look. Continue Reading “Short Stuff and Pretty Pinks: Fall ’14 Bridal Breaks The Mold” »

Wearing the Pants and the Skirt, too. A New Feminist Movement? Nope, It’s Just Spring ’14


Skirt Pants

Forgive us for saying that it seems like designers get together pre-season to discuss ways to flummox journalists: “Let’s do floral, let’s do neoprene, let’s do trapeze, and, to really freak them out, let’s all do it together.”

Fashion conspiracy theory? Probably not, but there is just a hint of truth in it. “I don’t think we pull out these uniform ideas from the ether just like that,” Maria Grachvogel told us backstage at her Spring ’14 show. “We all have our inspirations and references, and sometimes, it all just collides, then we telegraph messages to each other without meaning to. I guess it’s a controlled coincidence.” One of those coincidences this season is the skirt-pants combo. Raf Simons played with the look in his Resort ’14 collection for Dior, and now, London designers have rolled with that ball.

The style opened Osman Yousefzada’s Spring ’14 show. His iteration offered a beautiful white lace overlay (above, right). Simone Rocha produced a pair in a very hip, plasticized crochet (above, center), and Roksanda Ilincic crafted hers in an elegant stiff pleated silk gazar. Meanwhile, Grachvogel presented a dress-trousers hybrid in flowy, diaphanous silk (above, left). Such designers as Naeem Khan have also been up to bat, but being Indian, it should be all but instinctive for him. Said Yousefzada backstage, “It’s the classic kurta silhouette that’s been going on for centuries in India—it’s as ubiquitous as the sari. I can’t figure out why it has taken so long to catch on here.” After this season, we’re guessing that will change.


Assessing Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Options


While designers across the world are focused on nabbing red-carpet credits at this month’s Golden Globe and SAG Awards, the big question here at is, Who will Michelle Obama wear to the Inaugural Ball? There’s no denying the enormous impact a MObama endorsement has on a designer’s career. Recall the surge in popularity both Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu had after dressing her four years ago for the 2009 Inauguration. While there’s no surefire way to pinpoint which designer the FLOTUS will choose this time around—and we’re all but positive that she’ll wear one-of-a-kind, not off-the-rack—we’ve nonetheless made a few educated guesses based on her past sartorial choices, and pulled looks from the pre-fall collections and Spring ’13 shows. Chances are Mrs. Obama will opt for an American designer (her decision to wear Alexander McQueen to a China state dinner last year, for example, was widely criticized). She’s also a proponent of up-and-coming talent, and many speculators have named Prabal Gurung as the top contender (she’s worn the designer’s clothes several times recently). Still, the First Lady is a fan of the old guard, too; she stunned in a red Michael Kors number on Election Night. She’s also a card-carrying member of Naeem Khan’s fan club, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see her turn up in one of his over-the-top embellished gowns on the 21st.

CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of Michelle Obama’s potential Inauguration gowns.


On Inspiration And Arm Candy At The New Yorker Festival


It was a bit of a motley crew that The New Yorker pulled together for Fashion Forward, a panel discussion, moderated by staff writer Judith Thurman, that was part of its New Yorker Festival offerings in New York this weekend. Five New York-based designers—Naeem Khan, Phillip Lim, Maria Cornejo, and Rag & Bone boys Marcus Wainwright and David Neville—came to chat and show four looks each from their Fall collections. Presented next to each other, they stood in dramatic relief. But among the designers’ opinions, there was an overwhelming sense of agreement.

First, there was the headache of dealing with the less-than-glamorous obligations of running a brand—all of the labels are independently owned. “The worst thing is to put your heart and soul into something and see it on the sale rack,” Lim said about balancing creativity with commerce. Second, there was the matter of the melting pot as inspiration; none of those present were born in the U.S., resulting in global references that ran the gamut from Scottish Harris tweeds that survived Mt. Everest (Rag & Bone) to 300 hours of hand-beading and metalwork from Rajasthan, India (Khan).

At the closing Q&A, an audience member put an interesting question to the assembled: Would they prefer to dress Michelle Obama or Carla Bruni-Sarkozy? Khan, whose star shot to the stratosphere after Mrs. O donned his gold gown for the administration’s first state dinner, picked the First Lady, naturally. And then so did the rest of the panel, although for various reasons. “I’ve met Carla Bruni before and there’s not much up there,” said Cornejo (left, with Lim). About Obama, she was more approving. “She’s actually doing things that are interesting,” the Chilean-born designer said. “She’s not just arm candy.”

Photo: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

With A Little Help From Halston’s Friends


Whitney Sudler-Smith’s documentary Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston teases out the complexities of an enigmatic figure by communing with those who knew him best—think My Architect by way of Studio 54). But getting the late designer’s nearest and dearest to reminisce on camera was no easy feat. “At first no one was really willing to talk,” the director said at the film’s West Coast premiere at LACMA last night. “I think they were afraid I was going to go the salacious route.” Sudler-Smith spent four years charming his way into the foyers of New York’s fashion and society elite, but he credits Liza Minnelli, arguably the closest of Halston’s many close pals (she’s pictured with the designer, left), with helping him initially get his foot in the door. “She was my first interview, and I think after she came on board, people realized I was legit.” Indeed, after his Minnelli coup, Sudler-Smith was able to score interviews with everyone from Billy Joel (who is seen regaling the camera crew with an organ rendition of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”) to Vogue‘s André Leon Talley (who playfully scolds Sudler-Smith for interrupting him). But it was a Champagne-fueled chat with former Halston protégé Naeem Khan that the director cites as his most memorable experience in making the film. “I think I wound up passing out in a pile of cardboard boxes after that interview,” he admitted. “It was very decadent. Very Halston.”

Photo: Tom Wargacki / Getty Images