Tadashi Shoji Spring 2015 Collection Review – Sublime and Shimmering in a Sunset Setting


The time is sunset. The location is the façade of the Ca’ d’Oro. The Golden Palace of Venice. Italy. Reflections on water as the light moves serenely across it and over the Grand Canal are the inspirations for Tadashi Shoji’s Spring 2015 collection. Pink Shadows. Frosted Jades. Blue Stones. Those are the colors he loves during that magical time of day. The colors only experienced in Venice at The Golden Palace. A sunset palette that Tadashi Shoji exclusively shares through his sublime designs.




And now for the fabrics. Cascading. Flowing. Glowing. His show notes that the “intricate detailing is paired with playful transparencies. Insets of chain mesh on tulle ornament the bodices and sleeves & multi-colored jeweled embellishments are inspired by Millefiori glass.” I have been to Venice. And Tadashi Shoji’s Spring 2015 collection transported me back. With a longing to live there forever. In an eternal sunset. And stroll the canals in a Tadashi Shoji gown of course.



Now for the architectural influences. Tadashi Shoji mentioned backstage to me that he truly loves history. And equally loves art. He started as a painter and as the models graced the runway, it felt like they were moving brushstrokes. The layered, shimmering fabrics reflecting painterly visions of The Golden Palace. “Motif-embroidered tulles are inspired by Gothic architectural details of the Ca’ d’Oro. Floral motif lace is hand-tinted by bonding chiffon pieces to the back of lace.” Tadashi Shoji essentially recreated sections of The Golden Palace architecture within his designs for the Spring 2015 collection. Intricately. Gracefully. Lovingly.



Tadashi Shoji’s Japanese heritage and artistic background comes through in the structure of the designs. Exquisite. Classy. Sculpted in a formal way. After painting and drawing at a young age, Tadashi Shoji moved to Tokyo from his hometown of Sendai, Japan to study fine art. He then apprenticed with Jiro Takamatsu, Japan’s leading contemporary artist who pioneered the modern art movement in Japan during the 1960s. After relocating to Los Angeles in the 1970s, Tadashi Shoji shifted naturally into fashion design and found his passion in special occasion dresses for women. Thank you!



I have a few favorites. The pan-ultimate “blue stone” rolling wave of a dress with “embroidered tulle collar tee and a sunburst pleated chiffon floor length skirt.” I also adore two of the most elegant pink full skirt dresses. Depicting different times of that romantic sunset. One knee length for the earlier light and one flowing floor length at the end of the sunset glow. The collection is rounded out with stunning whites and blacks – paying homage to the shadows of The Golden Palace.  And not to forget the deep water blues within Venice’s lagoons.



The geometrical patterns of the line are a nod towards Asia. The flow is more contained. Referencing the Kimono. Translucent mesh within the designs reveals a horizontal or vertical strip over the body. On occasion the shimmering fabrics hang translucently over part of the model, whose form is hidden only by the stitched details overlaying the fabrics. Covering but not covering the arms. The lower legs. The top half. The whole body. As if looking at the body underneath swirling water movements. The sheer water fabrics subtly revealing the surfaces below.



And as the models walk down the runway, they give the impression that they are floating on water. Regal. Over Venice’s lagoons.




The show itself is elegantly produced. It opens with projections of The Golden Palace in silhouette against the backdrop while water patterns shimmer in blues over the runway. The industry arrives. Slightly subdued by the mysterious setting. All are ready to be graced with Tadashi Shoji’s inspired designs. So when the lights rise, this visual glimpse of Venice remains in your mind’s eye. As Tadashi Shoji’s Spring 2015 collection presents on the runway, it now reinforces this presence of The Golden Palace.




Musically, the selection by Kevin Edwards during the presentation keeps the anticipation rising, with lulling female vocals singing “to capture your heart, to bring you home.” Whimsical.  Just like the title of the show “The Artistry of Venice.” And yes – Tadashi Shoji spent quality time in Venice prior to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to absorb the art and architecture of his dream destination. And experience the Venetian sunsets. A home to his inspiration. That captured his heart.





Additional information on Tadashi Shoji Collections at Fashion Week.


Enjoy viewing the runway show of Tadashi Shoji. Shot by B Productions. The high-angle floating camera is my favorite. 


Exquisite production by Judith Rice & Associates


For more information on Jiro Takamatsu, Tadashi Shoji’s mentor


Feature and Photos by Jodi Kaplan, copyright 2014


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