Red Carpet-Ready Looks From Naeem Khan and Walter Collection Kick Off L.A. Fashion Week

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images; Courtesy of Manny Llanura (2)
Los Angeles Fashion Week began with shows from the Walter Collection (far left) and Naeem Khan.

“Looking back at the history of Hollywood, women such as Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor are perfect examples of who I look to for inspiration,” said Khan. “Their elegance and grace had such a powerful influence over so many people all over the world.”

To kick off Los Angeles Fashion Week, New York-based designer Naeem Khan is the latest big name to show in L.A. On Friday, Khan sent his fall-winter 2019 collection (which debuted during New York Fashion Week last month) down the runway at the Petersen Automotive Museum. With a touch of 1970s inspiration, the show was filled with vibrant red carpet-ready gowns, trousers, tops, long skirts and a sweeping cape heavily embellished with sequins, elaborate embroidery and fringe that should appeal to his many Hollywood fans such as Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Tessa Thompson, Mandy Moore, Emma Roberts and Emily Blunt.

“When I think of L.A., I think of all of the amazing women that I’ve been able to dress on many red carpets at the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes and more. So when this opportunity arose, I thought it was the perfect time to share our latest collection with the fashion world in L.A.,” Khan, who was not able to attend the presentation, told The Hollywood Reporter by email, referring to the energy in Los Angeles as “an electric vibe that is so contagious.”

“Looking back at the history of Hollywood, women such as Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor are perfect examples of who I look to for inspiration,” he said. “Their elegance and grace had such a powerful influence over so many people all over the world. The industry has opened my eyes to many of the latest red carpet trends. … Movie stars are constantly influencing fashion, so I always keep an eye on what these celebrities are interested in wearing, both on and off the red carpets.”

Attending the show on Friday evening, actress Celeste Thorson told THR that she has worn Khan’s texture-rich designs: “The fabrics were pleated, with embroidery and different layers of texture, which is so beautiful. Having a designer like him here really elevates the scene.”

Also known for their standout use of texture, L.A.-based designers Walter Mendez & Ryan Patros (behind the Walter Collection label that has been worn by Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Selena Gomez) chose to debut their fall-winter 2019 collection at Friday's event. The lineup included their signature cut-out gowns with intricate beading, luxe catsuits embellished with crushed velvet, sequins and feathers that look ready for the stage and a parade of premiere-worthy ethereal tulle dresses.

"We wanted to create this idea of an enchanted garden and possibly get a couple of flowers stuck in her head," said Mendez, referring to floral headpieces worn by models. “It’s very playful and youthful.”

“L.A. is home to us; it’s great to see our friends and family, to have that full circle moment and come back and have an amazing show,” he said, referring to how they have previously shown at New York Fashion Week. “I have a strong feeling we’re going to dress Ariana Grande this year. It’s just meant to be!”

Patros is also planning to launch a more relaxed ready-to-wear collection of dresses and separates for spring 2019 that will be “easy and effortless,” he said. “Whether you put on a denim blazer or change the heels, it’s that party dress you can wear from day to night.”