It was a big surprise when America’s first lady Michelle Obama presented the Oscar for best picture during the 85th Academy Awards. Michelle was wearing a long silver/metallic gown made by Naeem Khan, who has dressed Mrs. Obama on several occasions before. The dress has attracted quite some publicity, especially after media in Iran used Photoshop to cover up arms and chest to make it more appropriate for Irani television standards. Controversy aside, Naeem Khan has been a big name in the fashion industry for many years now, dressing the likes of Beyonce, Penelope Cruz and Queen Noor of Jordan and designing clothes for films like ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Dreamgirls’.
Khan was born in India. Both his grandfather and father were designers, well known in India for their work. At the age of 20 Naeem Khan moved to America for his studies. He met famous American designer Halston through his father and soon became his apprentice. Khan launched his own line ‘Naeem Khan’ in 2003 and his clothes are available at luxury department stores all over the world. Khans designs embrace his Indian heritage, but also show his experience working in America alongside Halston. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Khan explained his work and what influence working together with Halston has had on his designs:
‘This is what makes me who I am, with the clean lines I learned from Halston and complicated Indian over-the-top Bollywood traditions. There’s a lot of confusion in India with design and color, and I have just taken it, simplified it, cleaned it — and this is what I get’
Naeem Khan’s collections ooze luxury and glamour. He often uses deep and bright colors in his designs or metallic’s, gold and silver, which make his gowns stand out from the crowd. His gowns are embroidered by hand and if you look closely you can see the similarities with traditional Indian fashion designs, which shows how beautifully he combined both Eastern as Western styles.
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