NEW YORK — Indian American designers wowed the audiences at New York Fashion Week with plenty of glitz and glamor.
Starting with designer Mac Duggal, sought after for his pageant and prom dress line, it was his first showing at NYFW Feb. 11, featuring glamorous, gorgeous gowns with bling and an eye-popping wow factor, noted PRNewswire.
In addition to the expected gowns with lots of shimmer and bejeweled adornments, there was the unexpected. This collection from Mac Duggal featured floor-length capes, unconventional slacks, shorts and even body suits.
An Indian American designer who resides in Chicago, Mac Duggal's enthusiasm for women's couture fashion began with the merging of the vibrant designs of his homeland’s royal history and opulent traditions with a sophisticated and contemporary design aesthetic.
Arriving in the United States in 1983 at the age of 23, Duggal began his road to success with his first collection, “Creative Creations,” a line of dazzling gowns blending Indian beauty and elegance with Western styling.
The Mac Duggal brand further elevated itself with the introduction of designer couture gowns and pageant wear. It was his high fashion prom dresses that put him at the forefront of the emerging designer prom dress market, and won him such awards as the 1998 Diva Fashion Award for Designer of the Year in the Prom/Pageant category.
Expanding his collection to 12 distinct social occasion lines, the Mac Duggal brand has transformed into a highly sought after label courted by A list celebrities including Shakira, Carrie Underwood, Gwenyth Paltrow, Khloe Kardashian, Eva Longoria, Paris Hilton and many more.
Meanwhile, designers at this year’s Fashion Week came up with widely varying ways to comment, either overtly or not, on the nation's political situation, reports AP. Indian American designer decided to use poetry.
As Khan’s final design made its way down the runway Feb. 14 — a grand, glistening, golden bridal gown, with a gold floral crown and a cascading veil with a black-and-gold train — the soundtrack played Maya Angelou reading her poem, "Human Family."
"The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight, brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white," the poem reads in part.
It closes by saying, three times: "We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike."
Backstage, Khan spoke about President Donald Trump's travel ban and its potential impact on the fashion industry.
"You look at the fashion business, it drives the economy of our country," said Khan. "It's the third or fourth largest business in America. You cannot have a business so big and have a travel ban."
He added: "You look across all the designers ... we bring diversity. And we make business by being all together to create newness mixed with volume mixed with so many amazing, beautiful things that come from different parts of the world. So we cannot have a travel ban. Especially if it's confined to one community. I mean that is absolutely not acceptable because that's not our Constitution."
Khan was a favorite designer of former first lady Michelle Obama, and famously designed the shimmering gown she wore to the India state dinner — her first.
There were plenty of equally shimmering gowns at Tuesday's runway show, including a few striking Deco-inspired looks — in gold metallic thread, or sequins. Khan also showed flouncy party dresses in tea length; a silvery sequined dress with ruffle straps and a peplum detail looked like almost like a very chic suit of armor. Embellishment was still key; Khan said he had experimented with new types of embroidery and placing sequins at different angles, to create texture and catch the light.
The collection began with somewhat more casual looks, part of an effort by Khan to expand more into daywear — animal print coats, print dresses, or a beaded jacket over drawstring pants. In an especially bright ensemble, high embroidered boots matched the embroidery on the dress, for shoulder-to-toe color.
"The inspiration was this larger-than-life woman who is my client, who is all the women I dress," Khan said. "There are women across the world who wear my clothes, so how do I take different art from different parts of the world in today's climate to show ... diversity and beauty? This is the collection."
Among the guests was actress Mandy Moore, star of TV's "This Is Us." She opted against a dress, given the weather, and wore one of Khan's beaded, full-length vests.
"I just have been introduced to Naeem's stuff," she said. "I wore one of his dresses to the Golden Globes this year and was floored by how empowered I felt."
IANS reports that Indian American designer Premal Badiani also showcased her latest collection, titled "Root Cause," at the New York Fashion Week and her inspiration was to "bring awareness of the human impact on the environment.”
"The inspiration behind this collection is to bring awareness of the human impact on the environment and to promote social responsibility by adopting sustainable fashion as a lifestyle choice," she said in a statement.
"The primary fabric used that is made from natural cellulosic fibers and produced from wood pulp, a natural renewable resource. This highlights the brand's philosophy of environmental awareness that believes caring about the planet is not a seasonal choice but needs to be done all year round. Through this collection, the brand wants to promote sustainable fashion in the luxury market," added Badiani.
—With PRNewswire, AP and IANS reports