Luxury should be in every detail, said Givenchy once.
Tadashi Shoji is the master of using lace and velvet, amongst other fabrics, using his expert technique of draping and pleating, evident from his previous season. This season at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) he interlaced that with even more gold and opulence, which naturally caught my starry fancy. 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.
Taking cue from several designers embracing the change taking over the world, he took a more opulent view of it. While the unrest is prevalent, he set his outfits in motion to them. Draping coats over velvet dresses, leaving inhibitions behind, he chose to make his women express their true selves. With gowns and dresses fit for dark nightclub, flashing lights glistening off of gems, there was a sexual energy on the runway, like meeting at Le Palace and falling into decadence, or at London’s Marquis Club, creating a revolution of senses. Aptly channeling a liberating movement, he had a runway collection filled with luscious splendor.
Floral brocade was set on several coats, and the combination of velvet and flowers was jaw-droppingly stunning. From a black rose corded lace and floral jacquard dress with an illusion v -neck, to a baby pink faux fur coat with lusciously pink trims, the women were set for the seductive night. While I generally prefer colors over black, the choices of fabrics and patterns made black and nude combinations stand out radiantly, with full corded lace gowns in nude and black velvet with ruffle shoulders, or a black and gold velvet off shoulder tiered dress with sheer lace insets.
Velvet gowns in royal blue and forest green and midnights followed suit, making way for sensual night gowns and even trousers. A midnight and nude corded lace Watteau top with flared trousers in well crafted lace made for a luxury and seemingly comfortable statement. The brocade trend, almost Indian in its inspiration, continued with forest textured and brocade mini dress with bell sleeves and an Elizabethan collar, along with lace and velvet fitted knee length dress in punchy royal blue. Insets in tonal hues made gowns like the forest velvet one retain a classy sheen and details that begged to be ogled at.
There were full on bolder floral prints, versus lace, like a royal blue flair skirt and a rose print chiffon blouson sleeve flair dress, made for divas who dedicated themselves to more spring like flowy dresses. Possibly the best of these was a violet rose print fitted dress with soft embroidered lace sleeves which gave an impeccably crisp look.
I obviously liked the rose and red and cardinal tones. There was an embroidered tea-length dress, as he called it, with off-shoulder sleeves, and a wine and gold floral brocade long sleeve coat dress. I especially liked the full on cardinal red and gold velvet long sleeve gown which spoke of high craftsmanship in its sheer shimmering sheen. The effect was similar with another long gown with a keyhole bustier neckline. Purple was close in line with the reds, with a violet electric stripe dress with lace illusion v-neck and bell sleeves, paying homage to a retro era.
There were a few menswear inspired pieces, like a striped glistening suit and a pewter electric stipe velvet jumpsuit with a matching scarf. As a lover of gold, I quite liked the navy and gold floral brocade Hendrix suit paired with a soft embroidered lace bow collar top, making it as apt as a boss-lady and a diva of the night. The trend was similarly replicated with a black gold velvet and floral brocade cape and pants with a bow collar top, looking equally luscious with literally glinting gold.
Equally luscious were silver and rose gold backless gowns, with more floral details in forest hues on the former, and a complete sheer rose mock neck gown. I have a penchant for backs, and fell truly in love with the focus on creative backs by Shoji; completely envisioning myself walking to one of these sensual women from behind, with two cocktail glasses in hand. The shimmers concluded with a burgundy asymmetrical gown with lace detail, and a provocatively cut pewter one with lace running all the way up the legs to the waistline.
With a sigh caught in my throat, I absolutely loved the entire collection and its theme of movement, shimmer and seduction.
Quite a contrast to the snowy and fur clad mens style that I sported as I stepped into a winter wonderland.