Deimante Misiunaite for Tadashi Shoji Resort 2017

Tadashi Shoji has been in the fashion business for more than 30 years, but he started out as a painter. After relocating to Los Angeles from his native Japan in the ’70s, he switched gears to study fashion design, eventually launching his own label in 1982. Now, he’s a go-to guy for high-wattage red carpet events, but also enjoys a loyal clientele of non-celebrity women, too.

Unsurprisingly, art is a consistent source of inspiration for Shoji. A few seasons ago, he took cues from Henri Rousseau’s tropical jungles, and for Resort, he lifted cheerful pastels and florals from the paintings of Pierre Bonnard. The French post-impressionist artist is known for his use of sweet, saturated hues, but he also painted from memory, so there’s a dreamy, intuitive quality to his work. Shoji conveyed that with sheer panels and a pleating technique that gave some of his floral pieces a hazy, slightly abstract feel. But in some instances, the prints veered away from the theme and felt a little too graphic and generic. Softer, more painterly florals would have been prettier and more in line with what his customers—who tend to be of a certain age—gravitate toward.

Shoji is training his eye on a younger audience, though, and the dresses in fresh, spring-y pastels with cutouts, plunging necklines, and off-the-shoulder silhouettes could resonate with the Taylor Swift generation.

vogue.com

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