Photographer Ron van Dongen provided the gorgeous cover art work for the Tadashi Shoji Spring 2012 Showrun; the stunning detailed still life of a tulip told me all I needed to know about this collection. Floral themes for spring are about as ubiquitous as bikinis and wedges and while the palette was named for flowers (magnolia, petunia, lily, daisy, willow, and fern), this season Tadashi Shoji moved beyond the literal use of prints -- manipulating his silhouette into the varying stages of the blossoming buds. This gorgeous collection of 34 dresses felt organic and extremely refined, all at once!
“Hand-painted brush strokes mirrors the tulip’s unique petal marking; beading is sprinkled like dewdrops on a spring morning.” According to the liner notes, Tadashi Shoji wanted to pay homage to the enchanting beauty and splendor of the tulip. Florence + the Machine’s “What the Water Gave Me” provided the runway soundtrack to the elegant collection of day dresses, cocktail frocks, and evening gowns. Florence Welch’s dulcet tones were the perfect compliment to the collection’s ethereal silhouettes (ruffled bodices, full skirts, draped columns, dropped waists, tiered layers, and asymmetrical shoulders); soft color story (pink, green, blue, yellow, coral and ivory); and feminine design details (hand-painted silk, embroidered lace, ruched chiffon, floral appliqués, tulle overlay, and flutter sleeves).
The presentation was divided into vignettes from a quartet of hand-painted floral shaped dresses to a series of striped boatneck and strapless dresses, before transitioning to tulle and metallic embroidered lace looks; the latter half of the collection skewed less playfully flirtatious and more confidently sophisticated, featuring draped gowns, tulle overlay dresses, beaded blouson pieces, and interlaced ribbons that wrapped around the torso like twine binding a fresh bouquet of flowers.
My favorite looks from the Tadashi Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection included: the magnolia hand-painted silk linen strapless tulip shaped dress; the willow tulle and metallic embroidered lace long-sleeve tiered gown; the fern crinkled taffeta strapless dress with petal detail; the ivory daisy print silk chiffon one-shoulder ruched dress; the light fern hand beaded flutter sleeve blouson dress; and the ivory silk chiffon v-neck cross-back gown.
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