Tadashi Shoji gave everyone a history lesson over the fall of the Russian Empire for his Fall 2013 collection. The lesson is a story of the aristocracy of Russia fleeing the country through the tundra while wearing peasant clothing to go undetected. It was a magnificent tale of the hardship, strife, beauty and traditions immersed in the history of Russia’s most opulent era. The designer wanted to exude the grandeur of the Russian empire while showcasing the beauty of the ordinary peasant’s clothing using traditional embroidery and silhouettes.
Before the show even started, the audience was already entranced in the drama as beautiful music played and snow appeared to fall over the runway. The snowfall was a foreshadowing of the show to come. Backstage the hair and makeup teams from MAC and Cutler were creating the image of women “running out of Russia through the tundra in the freezing cold”. They used very little foundation and no blush with frosty white eyeshadow and a berry lip to create the ice princess look. Hairdressers created a side swept messy fish tail braid to contribute to the haggard look. With the finishing touches of white glitter manicures by China Glaze, the final look was that of a frozen fairytale. From riches to rags and back to riches again, the story was thought out down to the final detail.
The gowns were inspired by the exile of Russia’s nobility to Serbia during the early 1900’s showcasing the art deco glamour using embellishments. The aristocrats were forced to hide their jewels and wear peasant’s clothes in order to flee secretly inspiring the designer to delicately stitch pearls and crystals into the gowns. The subtlety of the embellishments is a true sign of Tadashi Shoji’s restraint and ability to create the perfect balance of glamour and grace.
Tadashi perfectly married the two contrary societies by meshing the richness of the fabrics and intense colors with customary embroidery typical of peasant attire during that time. Lush velvets and delicate lace added to the grandeur and glamour of the collection while Russian inspired patterns added a bit of whimsy. Inspired by the orthodox clergy garb of Russia, the designer used trapeze shaped silhouettes and billowy backs to create volume and a new silhouette for many of the gowns. The combination was a dynamic duo. Gowns floated down the runway in tiers of lace and pearl encrusted gowns. Dreamy chiffon dresses with voluminous backs created statement worthy looks perfect for the girl ready to make an entrance.
Tadashi never fails to deliver timeless gowns suitable for all women. This collection will surely be a favorite of starlets to get on the best-dressed list during awards season. The vintage inspired romance paired with the splendor and opulence of the Russian culture made for a memorable collection that connected with the audience. This Fall 2013 collection inspired but a getaway throughout the severe tundra was anything but harsh and cold; it warmed our hearts.