Naeem Khan: it’s all in the shoulders

The key to dressing Michelle Obama

Naeem Khan’s lavishly embellished gowns have become red-carpet staples, beloved by Lady Gaga, Stacey Keibler—and Michelle Obama.

The US First Lady wore a silver-beaded dress by the designer to present the Best Picture award at the 2013 Academy Awards. Previously, she wore Khan’s strapless, silver-sequinned gown to a state dinner honouring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2009.

During a talk in New York on Wednesday evening, Khan suggested that the key to dressing Obama was as simple as keeping her best features in mind. ‘The First Lady likes her shoulders; she loves her shoulders,’ he said, according to WWD. ‘When you’re designing, you have to give her what she likes.’


The designer also dished on the differences between making it in the US and India (‘you need a lot of money’), and his early career at Halston. Learning to draw from Andy Warhol and accompanying Halston on his frequent trips to Studio 54 made for a colourful working routine. Especially around 4:00pm: ‘High tea was really high tea — we got stoned,’ he said.

Click through Khan's AW13 collection

See ELLE's pick of the top 10 Oscar dresses of 2013

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