Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall ’12. Tadashi Shoji’s “Paris of the Orient”

February 9, 2012 • Fashion Blog, Fashion Shows, New York Fashion Week Fall '12

Summary: Tadashi Shoji chose to include a quote from Marlene Dietrich in the program for his Fall’ 12 collection. It states, ” I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.” A curious choice from the  famously reclusive movie star; but one that set the tone well for the darkly glamorous, Old Hollywood theme that resonated from the first look to the last. Dietrich was herself a game changer in the fashion of her era, one of the first to choose menswear in the Depression era. And Shoji seemed to touch on that same sense of conventional defiance through the lens of Shanghai’s Golden Age. Around the same time Dietrich was slipping on her trousers, traditional fashion in China was being shed for more Westernized styles and served as a sign of progress and modernity for Chinese women.

Shoji channeled this movement  in luxe interpretations of hammered satin, satin lace and washed velvet. Hand beaded lace sparkled in intricate patterns along bodices and layers of tulle were presented in both long (traditional) and short (modern0 silhouettes. Many of the styles were drop-waisted, paying tribute to commonplace shapes of the time. And despite the somewhat costumey effect that some of the pieces carried, the overall vibe was clearly a modern interpretation of an era. The colors for one seemed to represent our hyper-pigmented, digital age. Crisp cobalt (marina) and spicy red (flame) punctuated a mostly black and neutral palette (the blue especially was so gorgeous, the pics just don’t do it justice!) And peek-a-boo sheer panels down the front and back of gowns reminded us that today, we are allowed to show a little more skin.

But what Shohi set out to achieve, honoring this “Paris of the Orient”, he definitely accomplished. And as a newly minted red carpet favorite, we would not be surprised if Shanghai’s Old Hollywood “image” started making a comeback in the Hollywood of today.

Color Palette: seagrass, hazel, black, marina, flame, ginseng, black/marina, peony flower print, pearl, black/gold, flame/black, black/marina, floral print, digital peony flower print, pearl floral

Fabrics and Textures: pleated chantilly lace, hand cut bias cut chantilly lace, chiffon, burn-out velvet, hammered satin, washed velvet, embroidered lace, beaded lace,  paillete, chiffon, tulle, tucked, ruched, tiered, flutter sleeve, handkerchief hem, hand beaded detail

Key Looks: seagrass pleated chantilly lace tiered handkerchief hem dress, ginseng hand cut bias tiered chantilly lace a-line gown, black/marina floral print burn-out velvet blouson gown, flame digital peony flower hammered satin flutter sleeve gown, black/nude paillete embroidered lace and tulle dress, seagrass washed velvet ruched sweetheart gown, black tucked chantilly lace high neck gown with Venetian lace bodice front and cap sleeves, black washed velvet and beaded lace bodice gown

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