Tadashi Shoji – Fall 2011 New York Fashion Week Review

Los Angeles-based Japanese designer Tadashi Shoji was known to American consumers before his ready-to-wear Fall 2007 debut at New York Fashion Week: he was the official designer for the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants.  His dazzling array of evening gowns has made him a favorite of ours season after season.

But Shoji’s latest offering for Fall 2011, supposedly inspired by the gardens of the Far East, was a bit underwhelming.  Following a series of monochromatic dresses, he turned to motifs and patterns that seemed a bit too familiar and borrowed from past collections: sharp pleats, floral embroideries and similar hand cut details, and fringe. Shoji ended his collection by reminding us of its runway show’s simple beginning, but it would have been better to summon the strengths of his debut that ventured more onto the red carpet, less so into commercial territory.