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Where EAST meets the Northwest

NEW YORK BRIDAL WEEK. Bridal fashion from the Naeem Khan collection is modelled in New York. Khan staged a runway show in his cozy garment district atelier, complete with huge disco balls and a dance party at the end with models dressed in minis sparkly with gold and silver sequins and crystals. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

From The Asian Reporter, V27, #20 (October 16, 2017), pages 9 & 16.

Vera Wang, Naeem Khan among New York bridal week highlights

By Leanne Italie

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Vera Wang’s latest bride is feeling a touch of baroque romance and Naeem Khan’s is ready for an afterparty worthy of Studio 54.

During a recent round of bridal shows in New York, Wang showed her Fall 2018 collection via appointment and dreamy, black-and-white look book shot by famed fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier in the Jardin du Luxembourg, a Paris garden created in the early 1600s by Marie de’ Medici, the second wife of King Henry IV.

Khan staged a runway show in his cozy garment district atelier, complete with huge disco balls and a dance party at the end with models dressed in minis sparkly with gold and silver sequins and crystals. But those were just half the story. Other looks by Khan are intended to please all his brides, from Japan to Dubai, New York to Nebraska.

Naeem Khan

Khan embraced his global bride in opulent and edgy looks with dramatic lace capes and shoulder bows with long fluttery ends to the floor, only these models walked to ’60s standards like the counterculture Buffalo Springfield hit penned by Stephen Stills known for this line: "I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down."

When the slow walkers disappeared, the party began with a finale of dancing models in metallic beads, fringe, and ostrich trim that put a smile on Khan’s face as he greeted guests on his front row.

"We need a party to change our minds from all this craziness of what’s going on in America," he told The Associated Press in a backstage interview.

Khan apprenticed for Halston in the ’70s, working with Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor. He’s also tight with former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, whom he dressed often. He wanted to say something about today’s times under President Donald Trump.

"I feel that we are going on a journey with our political situation where it doesn’t look very right, and we don’t have strong leaders who can really take the bull by the horns and make things happen. We’re still divided,’’ he said. "All the music is from the time when it was Vietnam, it was rebellion. We got the music to say we are part of what’s going on right now."

Khan finds bridal a challenge because, he said, "brides always think of themselves in a certain way," usually princesses.

"Each dress is important on its own. It’s not one story like ready to wear. You have to really create a collection that caters to all different women of the world," he said.

Vera Wang

The bride from Wang wears bushy fur stoles and corset bodices. One of her new gowns has a peplum made to look like garters.

In Wang’s Demarchelier-shot look book, her models wear large, loose feathers on their heads, their hair long and wavy, and with heavy black eyeliner as they take to the sixth arrondissement garden, palace in the background.

"I was awarded the Legion of Honor in February and having lived and studied in Paris it was my personal connection to the Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter that made me choose the Jardin du Luxembourg as my location," Wang said. "The Jardin du Luxembourg has always been a very special place to me."

She displayed the gowns in her showroom and allowed guests to touch her finely crafted fabrics and trims. One, a light ivory ballgown, had long sleeves with macramé lace to the skirt. The skirt was stiff and gathered in the baroque style above the waist.

Wang did Marie proud with that one.

On other gowns, Wang used the quilting style of trapunto. It’s puffy and padded and produces a raised texture. She created trapunto on a silk corset and gartered gown of buff and ivory in an A-line silhouette, along with the front of a soft white silk crepe ballgown that had long sheer sleeves and Chantilly appliqué.

"I feel it was a fashion statement for this season. The silhouettes and detailing of the dresses inferred a certain sense of scale and modern romance. Our clients create all sorts of weddings, but this collection was intended to create a sense of importance and celebration."

Sometimes, Wang’s skill comes in the tiniest details. She put a fishnet pattern of lace over a floral lace for a little extra oomph on one gown.

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