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Friday, September 21 Entertainment

Naeem Khan creates an ode in color, black to '70s New York

NEW YORK (AP) — With healthy doses of bright pinks and yellows, in butterfly prints and a palm motif, Naeem Khan's spring-summer collection felt sunny side up at New York Fashion Week.

There was, of course, plenty of the bling Khan is known for in gowns that have landed on the backs of queens and first ladies. Those allowed to wear open backs, one-shoulder in jersey and raffia fringe are more than welcome.

Khan was inspired this time around by Halston, Studio 54, Andy Warhol and Truman Capote's Black and White Ball, a la a journey back as the designer reminisced about his first impressions of the city, its underground and the 1970s and '80s.

"The inspiration is my journey, my journey from the time I started at 19 years old, working for Halston, influenced by Warhol, by Martha Graham," he told The Associated Press backstage Tuesday. "So color and elegance, that's the mix of the season."

He said it in a coral jersey halter gown with a top adorned with caviar beads. He said it in yellow fringe with an illusion top and wide leg tuxedo pants. He said it in an iridescent sequined sleeveless dress with a neon green floor length ruffle cape.

On the black and white side of the equation, Khan went with a black beaded cap sleeve top with a black-and-white butterfly printed ball skirt. Butterflies also appeared on a beaded shawl, a ball skirt and a pant paired with a beaded jacket.

Khan used a graffiti print on a multicolor long-sleeve beaded dress, and he put a multicolor floral embroidered hood on a bomber dress with hand-cut mirror detail.

Among his guests was glammed-up ski champion Lindsey Vonn, in a smoky Khan dress with illusion detail and beaded fringe. And she slid right into, no alterations necessary.

"It's actually really hard to fit into dresses that don't stretch, and he makes them perfectly," she said on the front row, in reference to her athletic build.

"It's difficult to get my butt to fit into most dresses and my shoulders are big and, you know, it's usually one part of a dress fits and the other part doesn't," Vonn said. "That doesn't hardly ever happen. I just think the way fashion is changing, especially the last few years and being inclusive in all different body types makes me a lot more confident in myself. I normally come to Fashion Week and I'm like, oh God, I need to lose 60 pounds."

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Associated Press writer Jill Dobson in New York contributed to this report.

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