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Singapore Fashion Week 2016: Up close with Naeem Khan

Known for his intricately-detailed gowns, use of vivd hues, and attention to details, India-born fashion designer, Naeem Khan, has dressed countless celebrities and royalty such as Kate Middleton and Queen Noor of Jordan.

Before the esteemed designer shows his Spring Summer 2017 collection at Singapore Fashion Week on 29 October, Khan shared with us his numerous inspirations, aspirations, and the one outfit he’d willingly wear for the rest of his life. Hint: it’s a lot less than how he’s dressed in the picture below.

Naaem Khan
Naaem Khan

When I think of fashion, I think of… empowerment and happiness.

My first fashion memory is… my mother’s beautiful sari designed by my father.

When I design a collection, I begin with… the overall concept; the big picture. Colours will then be chosen, followed by designing the fabric and embroidery. The collection is worked on as a whole – from embellished gowns to basic silk tops, outerwear, bottoms etc. Our design team will then work with stylists to put the pieces together to form outfits, and the collection slowly comes to life. All this, of course, is done under my direction.

The Naeem Khan girl is… well-travelled, and not afraid to make a statement. She is the head of state, a movie (or rock) star, a modern fashionable bride, or is a highly influential individual of society.

Two ladies whom I would’ve loved to dress are… Princess Diana, and Marie Antoinette. Both of them had a great sense of style, luxury, and humanity.

Princess Diana and Marie Anton
“I would’ve loved to dress Princess Diana and Marie Antoinette”, says Naeem Khan.

The inspirations behind my Spring/Summer 2017 collection are… Halston, the 70s’, and luxury. The abstract bias-cut jersey pieces, and the yellow fringed jumpsuit are my favourite looks.

Naeem Khan - SS17 jumpsuit
Naeem Khan Spring Summer 2017 – Jumpsuit

I am constantly inspired by… my home country, India. My designs are influenced by its culture, tradition, and of course, colours — lots of it. I hope to inspire young fashion designers to look into the cultures of their home countries and bring it alive in their own unique way, and show it to the world.

Social media has allowed the fashion industry (and world)… to become one big global market, in a way that we are able to influence one another in real time. Instant awareness has allowed the industry to benefit financially.

If I weren’t a fashion designer, I’d be a… chef or an architect.

If I had to choose one outfit to wear for the rest of my life, it’d be… a sarong wrap and a tank top. I’m thinking of the tropical weather.

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