Summary: Using a photographer as a muse is often a good idea for a designer. Playing off light, shadow, color and dimension can do just as much for garments as they can for an image, and Tadashi Shoji has been doing this business long enough to understand that. This season, Shoji paid homage to photographer Ron van Dongen and his everlasting muse, the tulip.
Sure, flowers in spring are not exactly unchartered territory. But it was refreshing to see Shoji conceptualizing the tulip by simply turning the dresses into a buds themselves. The opening looks boasted ombre in technicolor shades with full, tulip-shaped skirts. The overt flower references gave away to chunky stripes, black lace and metallic tulle but the theme of delicacy and femininity remained throughout. Gowns gained more movement as the show progressed, billowing confections in chiffon and punctuated with a faint watercolor print or a subtle sparkle. Shoji seems to understand his client as well as he does his muse, and I found myself wanting to be this woman that he was dressing.
“So, in the tulip, we have a flower of beauty and grace, of charm refinement, and distinction. It is a powerful flower and it knows it.” —The Tulip Anthology (as written in the Tadashi Shoji program)
Colors: magnolia, petunia, ivory, ivy, daisy, fern, black, primrose, nude, metallic, lily, willow, floral,
Fabrics and Textures: silk, linen, tulle, lace, taffeta, silk chiffon, silk gazar, beaded, hand beaded, embroidered, hand-painted, draped, crinkled, ruched, flutter-sleeved, one-shouldered, tulip-shaped
Key Looks: Petunia hand-painted silk linen 3/4 sleeve tulip shaped gown, lily tulle and metallic embroidered lace long-sleeve tiered dress, fern crinkled taffeta strapless dress with petal detail, willow hand beaded flutter sleeve blouson gown, black/primrose hand-painted silk linen striped boatneck gown
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