TADASHI SHOJI AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK
Tadashi Shoji’s big Fall idea was straightforward enough: the beauty of flight. One would think it’s an easy reference. He did ball skirts and capes made of fluffy, hand-cut feathered tulle, feather motifs sewn onto floating gowns, and even a few tiered faux-fur dresses with a decidedly avian feel.
But Shoji was thinking about planes, too, and he had the nerve to transform the guts of an aircraft into embellishments. And guess what? It worked. A nude long-sleeve gown was embroidered with a navy gear pattern, but it looked more like Moroccan tile. Another embroidery—an engine motif—was sewn in gold and silver onto a three-quarter-sleeve black cocktail dress, mimicking an abstract floral. Even the metal gears that decorated the neckline of a jacquard skater dress weren’t too obvious. Of course, most of Shoji’s customers will likely have no idea what they’re looking at, and that’s more than fine. These details were fresh, whereas a big ol’ literal bird embroidery would have felt played out.
What did feel stale, however, were some of Shoji’s silhouettes. While tulle column gowns and neoprene day dresses resonate with the customer, the designer has been better in the past at playing with proportions and shapes on the runway, offering something less expected in between his greatest hits. It would be good to see him do that once again next season.