News & Scoops

2010 September 17

Runway Reviews: Naeem Khan, Ralph Lauren

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Naeem Khan Spring 2011 Naeem Khan Spring 2011
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Was it raining? Probably. Was the front-row on its last leg after an intense week of shows? Of course. But nobody noticed—or cared—about circumstance during Naeem Khan's rejuvenating Spring 2011 collection. As proven by a fully sequined teal floral mini with a deeply draped neck and 3/4 sleeves, no other designer in New York makes serious evening gowns this young, this joyous, and this sexy. Khan's idea of neutrals starts with a soft fawn color, but by the time his hundreds of embroiderers, embellishers, patternmakers, and tailors are finished with a dress, it's literally solid gold. A marigold column was splashed with so much jet beading and embroidery it looked more like something at the New Museum than a dress destined for the floor at Bergdorf. A loose celadon caftan, gathered seductively in the back and practically music-making from all the tiny gold discs used as trim, was just as interesting. Khan does not dress doyennes—he dresses the modern mover and shaker, whether she's bound for the Emmys (a la front-rower Perry Reeves), the Unicef Snowflake Ball (a la fellow guest Hillary Gumbel), or even a fabulous dinner for 12 (c'est vous, Donna D'Cruz)—but wherever she's going, she's there to dance.

Welcome to the Ralph Lauren ranch, where the buffalo roam and the cowboys and girls are the chicest you’ll find in the American West (or any region, for that matter). Lauren pulled out all the stops for his Spring 2011 collection, including fringe galore, giant, shimmering belt buckles, and warm shades of suede. Although, there was an absence of denim on denim action. Lauren can easily be credited with bringing back the “joutfit,” or rather, the jean outfit, but this season the designer opted for softer, more romantic fabrics, and long, swingy fringe that dominated the runway. There was nary a cowboy hat or spur in sight—veering away from the ultra-literal realm. Instead, delicate touches like lacey Victorian-era blouses provided a sweet contrast to the tougher, hardworking, cowgirl vibe.

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