Tadashi Shoji Spring 2012 Show at Lincoln Center

15 Sep

Text, Vivian Kelly

This collection’s floral theme was in evidence before the show even started. I had enough time pre-show to inspect the head of the runway, which usually just has the designer’s name and/or logo projected onto it. That’s basic but a bit ho-hum after about 10 shows, so it was refreshing to see the green sprig and floral backdrop, which had us thinking, “spring, flowers”.

From the preview, I already knew that the tulip was a focal point of inspiration, but  the preview sketch didn’t prepare me for how beautiful the tie dye short sleeve bellskirted dresses would be and how the colors so closely mimicked  the pigmentation of an actual tulip bloom.

This was the strongest grouping, but there was a lot more for both day and evening dressing that was also noteworthy. The multiple tiered chiffon and tulle dresses  were simple, beautiful, and simply beautiful. Next came dresses in marigold yellow, carnation, peony pin and one sublime print – a kind of broken-up floral. Designers such as Shoji, Mara Hoffman and Custo Dalmau have been using these digitized prints for a while now to create prints that suggest a specific flower or object and make an interesting alternative to a straight-forward print. It’s no wonder that young stylish celebs such as Blake Lively wear Tadashi Shoji to events where they know they’ll be photographed from every possible angle and have to look perfect. I’d like to see her in this yellow one-shoulder dress.

Touches such as ruffled necklines that imitated crushed flowers further attested to the Mr. Shoji’s creative prowess and technical skills. There were one shoulder designs that were both pretty and refined and not the least bit Eighties retro. The designer departed from floral at the end and showed gown after gown in the season’s nude for evening, which demonstrated his shirring and draping technical skill, as they defined the models’ busts and waists in the most flattering way possible.

The finale floral gown though, took the cake. It was a combination of  everything that was right with this collection:  the floral print. draping, ruching, one-shoulder and flowing fabric that looked as light as air.  Thanks to this collection, spring/summer 2012 NY is a season that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

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