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New York AW17

Naeem Khan and Irina Vitjaz

Naeem Khan: A celebration of culture

On the morning of Valentine’s Day, Indian-American designer Naeem Khan unveiled his own definition of love with a very inspiring runway show. The intricate collection incorporated styles and techniques from around the world, including Poland, India and the Middle East, embracing diversity and celebrating unique cultures. Sophisticated bedazzled pantsuits and beaded dresses – some of them gold and feathered, echoing the ‘30s, and others in leopard and floral prints – were a few of the standout pieces to grace the runway.

Towards the end of the show, the music stopped and attendees assumed that it was over. But in fact, there was one last look to come that encapsulated the entire collection’s very purpose. A model wearing a regal-looking, gold, lace gown took to the catwalk, her floral crown as imposing and breathtaking as she was. As she walked slowly, Maya Angelou’s poem Human Family played overhead. “I note the obvious differences in the human family,” the poem began. “The variety of our skin tones/ can confuse, bemuse, delight/ brown and pink and beige and purple/ tan and beige and white.”

Naeem Khan’s message was heard loud and clear through a collection that was not only a showstopper fashion-wise, but that was a much-needed injection of positivity and love amidst this time of chaos. The last verse of Angelou’s poem stuck with everyone in the room: “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”