2010 February 19

Runway Reviews: Naeem Khan, J.Mendel

Naeem Khan Naeem Khan
Getty Images
View Gallery

(NEW YORK) Naeem Khan
"Sex, love, and rock and roll," was how Naeem Khan described his Fall collection, which he showed in runway format at the Promenade at Bryant Park last night. And what a fortuitous decision it was. Granted, Khan's exquisite beading and embroidery are best admired in extreme close-up, but things with this much shimmer and sparkle are simply outstanding on the runway. And for Fall, Khan was more than ready to be back in Bryant Park's spotlight, as he offered a superbly-edited collection of 30 looks that built upon the aforementioned theme. Clearly, he's drinking from the same fountain of youth as Donna Karan. In fact, these fabulous gowns are almost a little bit too glam for New York's social goddesses. (But no doubt they'll rise to the challenge...before someone else nabs the exclusive for UNICEF!) With a palette of bone, black, gold, crimson,and platinum—and a touche of navy added by a drop-dead kimono coat embroidered with sequin and threadwork—Khan focused exclusively on hit-makers, starting with a leather motorcycle jacket covered in metal pailettes, which was paired with a skintight trumpet skirt. Several fur-trimmed embroidered vests, worn with skirt lengths of all sizes, have become an entry-level approach to this designer's world. (They're no fragrance, but hey, it's all relative.) Attention, Hollywood stylists: Put your girls in that crystal-beaded longsleeved minidress (look #26)  or the sleeveless organza ball gown with a crystal beaded V-back bodice (look #30), and ye shall be saved come Joan Rivers season. Khan's standing ovation was well deserved.

Gilles Mendel's presentation at the Tents at Bryant Park was overrun with fur fiends, wannabe clients, and Brooke Shields. Clearly, this designer generates a thirst. The eveningwear's palette was inspired by a series of Ryan McGinley images known as Moonmilk, and while Mendel stuck to his traditional shapes—mostly strapless, occasionally draped—several rouge and rust minidresses will appear to the Rose Bar set. As usual, the furs were as posh as can be, especally the hooded fox vest, a broadtaim trench, and patched-together jackets.