Front Row

Tadashi Shoji Spring/Summer 2022: Special Occasion Looks and a Return to Exquisite Details

The Tadashi Shoji Spring 2022 vision considers 100-Year cycles. One hundred years ago, the Spanish Flu receded, and the Roaring 20s made its spirited debut. People embraced a newfound vitality. One hundred years later, we see light shafting through at the tunnel’s end. It winks and glitters, growing brighter and brighter until we arrive in Spring 2022. While we all do our best to protect ourselves and others from Covid, what awaits is still to be determined, but our hope for this season is a return to parties.

As the designer explains, “Fashion builds upon itself, constantly reinventing and reimagining, altering and finetuning. As designers, we’re constantly considering both the past and emerging future to create styles that will exist in the now.” This season’s ease — lighthearted and with party-ready versatility— is made possible by pattern-driven precision. The collection is infused with glitz: sparkly embroideries, a fountain-inspired draped crepe gown with a leg-lengthening cut, and new Twenties glamour updates to most-loved styles: watercolor-printed dresses featuring signature twist-drape waists as well as pleated chiffon gowns. And as always, a contoured stretch lining gives each piece a custom-feel fit.

The Twenties-era robe de style was characterized by a fitted bodice and pannier style hips. For 2022, the designer played down the volume and added shoulder cutouts. Embroideries in the collection is custom-created in-house.

Time will tell. We’ve been reminded, especially during Covid, that time is a construct. Reworking and reimagining silhouettes is a way of interpreting time: a Robe de Style with a pannier-inspired form and shoulder cutouts, 1920s arced and crisscross piecing to create shaping, sequined fringe to exaggerate fluidity and movement. It’s something old, something new, where a long-sleeved, tulle-skirted wedding dress has a plunging keyhole. Styles are designed to exist in the beauty of a moment, captured like lightning in a bottle. But the bottle is uncorked and champagne is flowing. Flute glasses clink. There are joyful and playfully razzing toasts. There is the uncorking of more bottles and laughter and dresses cut in a cosmetic palette of stone fruit cocktails served after midnight.

With parties forthcoming, let’s not forget the anticipation. It’s seeing a black surreal-lace gown hung on the door eagerly waiting for the clock to strike ‘get ready,’ or a pulling a step-into dress with flutter sleeves and a cinched waist from a garment bag followed by a quick shake, steam, and a zip. It’s getting out of the rideshare, or riding the elevator up, or strolling a hotel hallway, elbow hitched with another. Time is concentric, like ripples formed from tossing a penny into a wishing fountain. This season, the designer’s wish is a return to parties, fantasy, and glamour.

Embroidered tulle is hand cut then stitched onto the collar. A lovely contrast to set off the watercolor floral. This slightly linear, radiating pattern is suggestive of fringing and sunburst pleating.

Crepe’s timelessness sets off elegant draping and modern cuts

Arced piecing is both structural and decorative. Design lines, radiating from the waist, create a flattering effect by elongating and shaping.

Halter necklines draw the eye upward, show off the shoulders, and lengthen the arms by their angular cuts.

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