Tadashi Shoji S/S 2017

Carson Kessler

The lights immediately shut off, when suddenly a peaceful, watercolor image of a dainty crane projects upon a stark white backdrop. As a clock chimes, the image shifts upwards to reveal the stork’s beak gripping an elephant by the tail. The silvery trunk of the elephant grasps a de-rooted tree, whose branches are coated in many different creatures, each grasping to its own piece of wood. As the image continues its journey upwards, the Tadashi Shoji S/S 2017 collection takes center stage.

Shoji describes his runway production as “an ecstatic vision of rebirth,” where delicate lace, electric hues, and exquisite feathers characterize the collection. Elaborate embroidery illuminates many of the red, green, and white parachute skirts. Just as the spatial limits of the tree restrict the wild animals, harnesses, in the form of belt-like ribbons, secure the voluminous and carefree disposition of the flowing skirts.

Lace, almost armor-like, adorned practically every look of the collection. The lace was placed over a nude mesh fabric to reveal skin in a subtle but alluring way. Contrasting with the baroque lace and embroidery, each model sported loose messy buns and glossy cheeks. As the loose hair flowed, so did the electric colored tassel earrings donned by each model.

However, the last look completed the cycle of rebirth, as a silky white, parachute gown emerged; this time, unharnessed and free. As the last model turned to end the show, the gown revealed a stunning mandala jewel-embroidered tulle back. And with that the collection came to a close, uninhibited and bound by no limits.

Email Carson Kessler at [email protected]

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