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Fashion / Style File

Famed Fashion Designer Swoops into Houston, Insists He’s Not Just About Glamour

A New Naeem Khan Embraces “Simple” Dresses

BY // 05.16.17

During a recent visit to Houston to pop the champagne corks with Becca Cason Thrash and friends, designer Naeem Khan took a quick few minutes to dish on Houston women and discuss his fresh take on feminine fashion.

There is definitely a new look with new elements coming from the Indian designer’s atelier. While the line continues with its lush embroidery and beading embellishments,  there are gowns and dresses with no beading. The silhouettes are sleek and sinuous silhouettes.

As Vogue online noted of the current spring collection, “Given his propensity for embellished ball gowns and his mastery of embroidery, it’s easy to forget that Naeem Khan actually cut his teeth as a designer at Halston in the ’70s. Spring 2017 was a reminder of that fact.”

Stepping aside from the Cason Thrash festivities, Khan told PaperCity, “It’s not that I’ve gone away from glamour. But I just feel that I’ve broadened my horizons. I feel that there are lots of women who wear me only for special occasions so I want them to wear me for just normal dinners.”

In fact, for the Houston Chronicle Best Dressed luncheon, he crafted a bright floral dinner dress, sans beading and embroidery, for Hall of Fame honoree Carol Linn. The bold floral pattern was an obvious departure from previous years at the design table.

“I’m using lots of amazing prints,” he said. “They are pretty flamboyant. We design these prints in house and then we are using fabrics that we are manipulating and creating textures. Even my simple, little dinner dresses are still statement makers. You can go to dinner and look fabulous.”

The motivation behind the un-embellished looks was financial, growing his market into a broader demographic. “It’s about cost. We want to bring in something that you can buy for inside $2,000, instead of buying a Naeem Khan for $10,000. It’s a whole different strategy but it’s widening my base of customers.”

But are you continuing with the glamorous five-figure gowns, we ask. “Of course, that’s only growing,” Khan said.

Khan allows that his customer base is more than 50 percent American, with 30 percent coming from the Middle East and the remainder from Asia.

Where does the Houston woman fit into his oeuvre? “Houston has always been that woman who loves glamor, the woman who is not afraid to make a statement,” he said. “And these are women who like to have fun but in a very chic way.”

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