by Alex R. Travers
The Tadashi Shoji story today concerned a young woman “lost in an evening reverie” (his words) who morphed into something magical and mysterious after her romantic journey. That romance was enhanced by Kevin Edwards’ mystical music. Yet, there was still an emphasis on the reality of clothes: The collection found most of its fun in the kaleidoscopic sheaths and lace gowns that felt fresh for the designer but were still quite emblematic of his enchanting aesthetic. In fact, the laser cutouts in those sheath dresses seemed to wink at you: they showed you something and, at the same time, showed you nothing. That said, there were occasions when the show felt high on its own metaphorical fumes, like the moment Nastya Kusakina ambled down the runway in a black and red embroidered tulle cape laid over a floor-length tulle dress—also embroidered—in rich ivory. Actually, that silhouette was fantastic. It reminded you of a Valentino show or a woman wandering and whispering in the night. But maybe that’s me getting lost in a Shoji-esque dream. It would have been great to see that look in an Ottoman silk brocade or even something lighter and monochromatic.
So it was the purity that triumphed today, in pieces such as a Chantilly lace blouse, a black velvet skirt, and an ivory cap-sleeve mini dress. Or his billowing lace gowns in “flame” and “moss” that had such delicate movement. This Fall 2014 showcase may have been low on daywear and practicality, but Shoji’s dreamy, visionary magic made it fly.