It's pretty standard to do a cursory front-row scan upon taking your seat at a fashion show--you're generally likely to spot at least one tertiary CW star, perhaps an America's Next Top Model alum, and maybe (just maybe) an Olsen or Kardashian. But we stopped dead in our tracks upon glimpsing Iris Apfel sitting directly across from us at last night's Naeem Khan show. Apfel's pretty much the coolest 90-year-old style icon around, and true to fearless form, she was decked out in an entirely red ensemble accented, of course, with her signature oversized specs. Next to Apfel sat Ranjana Khan, Naeem's lovely jewelry-designer wife, as well as noted couture client Becca Cason Thrash, whose appearance in the 2007 BBC doc The Secret World of Haute Couture (seriously, YouTube it ASAP if you haven't witnessed the amazingness) left us following her every move.
It's easy to see why Khan's designs have carved out such a devoted fan club--these clothes are pretty much as luxe as one can find, short of shelling out for true couture. This particular collection featured several stunning numbers in multicolored paisley-print organza, cocktail looks edged with Far-East-inspired threadwork, and sheaths trimmed with fringe beading. Oh, but those were the more subtle looks. Naeem also sent out a cap-sleeved gown completely covered with glittering paillettes, a number of short and long pieces dripping with ostrich feathers, and several showstoppers with silver paisley beading that will certainly be making the red-carpet rounds sometime soon. Cason Thrash mouthed "BEAUTIFUL!" to her seatmates over and over, and Apfel clapped enthusiastically as the designer took his bow. Our only gripe? Perhaps the models shouldn't have been given Christian Louboutin's skyscraper six-inchers to wear. Paired with the twenty-pound gowns they were sporting, it couldn't have been an easy march down that catwalk--though it sure did look glamorous.
**All photos: IMAXTREE