Wind in the Willows – Tadashi Shoji SS2011

Walking into the “Box” for the first time at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York, I had no idea what to expect. It sounded ominous. I was not prepared for the stark beauty that not only made up the Tadashi Shoji Presentation but the work that went into this beautiful set. With the black walls for a background, silver draping set the stage and set off the stark white branches of the leafless windswept “trees” arching up and touching branches together like stag’s horns crashing in the air.  The scene was as if caught in a freeze frame. Models were set in small groups with sumptuous gowns and cocktail dresses made of such incredibly touchable fabrics that it seemed a shame that this was only a presentation. Surely this would have made a spectacular runway show. Circling the room, however, it became apparent why this was a presentation rather than a show. Editors, photographers and fashion lovers could gaze at the intricately worked apparel and appreciate how much Tadashi Shoji  put his heart into this collection. He was understandably proud as many well wishers congratulated the talented designer. Most of the gowns were blush or nude as the designer chose a neutral palette. He favored the one shoulder dress and intricate textures of ruffles, roses and lace adorned each look. Some were layered with shiny satin and matte fabric alternately giving a contemporary, elegant appeal. The collection was timeless, elegant and contemporary all at the same time. 

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