Lace is one versatile fabric.
Veils for the face, erotica for the body, and diva for the onlooker.
Tadashi Shoji is the master of using lace, amongst other fabrics, using his expert technique of draping and pleating. With a belief that fabrics should fit women of all size and shape, he uses free flowing tailoring to ensure that fabrics grace the bodices of women instead of fit them. Effortlessness was thus key, regardless of if it is a dress, a cocktail gown, a pair of trousers or a red carpet stunner. This was the theme of his ethereal show at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) SS17.
The show commenced with a video titled The Flying Ark, based on Noah’s Ark by Wu Junyong. It was a metaphor for the show as a rebirth of inspiration, for the video showed a bird carrying an elephant, who in turn was carrying a tree holding a plethora of other animals.
There were thus numerous animal motifs in all the gowns. Leopard print embroideries were obviously a favorite, as well as ostrich feather trims, peacock hued bodices, and rich detailing via embroidery on bright threads.
Subtle erotica was evidently a theme with the show: sheer lace over large panties was a theme seen in many of his looks, where the innerwear and carefully crafted lingerie was a focal point that often elevated the transparent lace dress or gown covering it. There were also plunging neckline gowns and high cut cocktail dresses, all in a plethora of hues, and always crafted in signature lace. Slits, parachute skirts, and even backless looks all showcased the female form in its finest and most sumptuous.
The models literally floated across the runway in buoyant gowns. Whites with colorful embroidery were a mainstay, but his dark orange line was appealing too. Fiery and feisty, the models embraced the predominant lace with plainer stretch fabrics and monotone cuts.
Virtually all lace outfits in black and forest green were exclusively for nightwear, and showed the talent of using lace as a sole form. Everyone in the audience gasped at the long blue embroidered slit dress, which is what dreams were made of: a long slit with a peekaboo black lace underskirt, and heavy bird motif embroidery in bright pastel shades on the corset.
Tadashi Shoji was as humble behind the scenes with the entourage of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, as he was in explaining his inspiration to me.
Evocative to the extreme, lace was truly a timeless fabric, here to linger forever.