Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall '13: Naeem Kahn's Interpretation of Modern Opulence

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Summary: When one attends a Naeem Kahn fashion show, expectations are high. You want to see drop dead gorgeous, ornately and expertly beaded red carpet gowns. Thankfully he did not disappoint. I was a little confused by the inspiration which was called “modern opulence” which to Kahn meant a mix of 1920’s Art Deco (Erte illustrations) to the grandeur of the Byzantine Empire. How do these two themes even go together? They really don’t, but who cares? They make for a grand fashion show. Truth be told, I’m a sucker for anything deco. heck I even wanted my own outdoor wedding to look like a scene from the Great Gatsby, so needless to say, those looks were my favorites. Even the hair was styled in a la Josephine Baker with slicked back finger waves. The hair style played brilliantly off the expertly beaded metallic column gowns (my favorites) to the black embellished bolero jacket paired with fitted tuxedo pants and an overskirt (something we apparently will be a seeing a lot of come next fall).
The Byzantine portion was just as opulent, but not as fitted for the most part, so I didn’t find the looks quite as flattering. The lose caftans, while pretty, didn’t really do it for me. Neither did the crepe pieces with slashed sleeves with jewel trim. But I recognize that some celebrities will probably clamor to wear these on the red carpet. The gold Ottoman embroidery which appeared on a peacock green velvet column gown was beyond fantastic and thankfully, fitted. The same intricate pattern appeared again in an overcoat and caftan. The show was long, and stunning and well, I didn’t want it to end…Kahn’s standing ovation was well deserved.
Colors: white, nude, blush,  silver, gold, red, burgundy, navy, peacock, gunmetal, jet, black
Fabrics & Textures: georgette, double gazar, matte jersey, faille, chiffon, tulle, chantilly lace, dupioni, organza, silk jacquard, silk lame, wool crepe, velvet,  crystal beading, floral beading, deco beading, beaded starburst, ottoman embroidery, swirl embroidery, metallic lace, pialettes, jewel trimming
Key Looks: Black/silver-swag beaded racer cut gown in tulle; silver/black-crystal beaded faille bolero over tuxedo trouser and faille overskirt; silver/navy-crystal beaded chiffon tulip gown and cape; gunmetal lace column gown; blush-draped chiffon tulip gown with metallic waist
– Lauren Dimet Waters
Photos: NYMag

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