Fashion / Style

Naeem Khan Embraces Commando Models in Barely-There Salute to America — When Fashion Week Gets Racy

Ryan Seacrest is a Huge Fan

BY // 02.19.20

NEW YORK — It’s an election year, so without getting too political, Naeem Khan celebrated the red, white and blue with a star-spangled collection, which he dubbed “Coming to America.” It opened with an African-American model in a blue satin blouse dotted with white stars and white trousers cinched with a wide red belt.

Other all-American looks in Kahn’s fall collection, which was unveiled at New York Fashion Week, include a slinky hooded gown and evening pajamas in a blue-and-silver sequined star pattern. Toward the end, a number of pastel satin gowns were accessorized with oversized Statue of Liberty-inspired crowns, created by jewelry designer David Mandel.

The collection, which is available at Elizabeth Anthony, also includes tiger print dresses and bow blouses, sequined harem pants, beaded kaftans, and a series of sheer beaded gowns that revealed so much underwear that Commando was credited in the program.

The see-through looks seem more appropriate for a Las Vegas showgirl or a Hollywood starlet, although I suspect they will be lined before they are shipped to Khan’s affluent customers who probably don’t want to be that revealing. But hey, in America, freedom reigns.

The presence of Halston nearly always permeates a Khan collection, and this one retains vestiges of the legendary designer in the glamorous beaded gowns with padded shoulders, gold fringe mini-dresses, sequined halter jumpsuits and hooded tunics. In the ’70s, Kahn came to New York from India to apprentice for Halston, where he learned techniques of draping and construction that continue to influence his work.

Backstage, actor Ewan McGregor hung out and soaked up the atmosphere. McGregor is portraying the title role in Simply Halston, a new Netflix series from producer Ryan Murphy and wanted to observe Khan in action in preparation for the role.

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For the second season in a row, Khan showed his collection in the lobby of his ultra-modern apartment building, designed by noted architect Zaha Hadid before her death in 2016. He added a live band, which played easy listening hits as models roamed about during the runway show. On the front row was his good pal, Ryan Seacrest, who is a regular fixture at Khan’s shows.

“I see his dresses out in the wild, in the real world, and I see the way women feel in his dresses. And I feel that’s a magic power,” Seacrest gushed. “He’s a dear friend and I think he’s so talented.”

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