Tadashi Shoji debuted its Fall/Winter 2019 Collection at New York Fashion Week at Spring Studios Gallery 1 on Feb. 7, kicking off the annual week of fabulous frocks and styles. For this show, the designer sought inspiration closer to home, inspired by Southeast Asia’s culture, rich ornamentation and striking architecture.
“I am Japanese and live half of the year in Shanghai, that’s where my studio is,” said Shoji. “When I’m in Southeast Asia, I travel to Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia and Indonesia. For the past 20 years I have traveled there and I love that culture, the history and the food.”
Shoji’s fall/winter collection totaled 37 designs that graced the runway. From pleated-tulle tiers, pronounced seams, neutral and jewel toned gowns and exquisite drapery, the designer focused on accenting his garments with velvet and sequins.
“I love velvet and sequins and clothes that show a gradation of color,” he said. “I also drew from monks’ clothing and the traditional layering and draping of their robes when designing.”
For Shoji, his true love lies in making clothes. He and his team spend a great deal of time making prints from fabric and carefully selecting different embroideries, which take about a month and a half.
“Sketching and making the fabric is easy. The hard part is the theme,” he said, adding that during a fashion show is when he can relax. “The art of making clothes is more exciting to me.”
A visit to Southeast Asia promises a colorful palette, silk brocades, and old-world elegance, and if you can’t make it there, Tadashi Shoji’s fall/winter collection comes pretty close.