Shoji's lace looks are for the big moments

Associated Press Modified: September 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm •  Published: September 6, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Lace, patchwork, crystal. That could have made for an overwrought, overdone runway at New York Fashion Week on Thursday, but Tadashi Shoji mostly filled his collection with dresses that captured a modern, clean femininity.

Some of the gowns seem likely candidates for the red carpet, especially the one-shoulder, wheat-colored tulle and embellished gown with floral appliques and lace that closed the show. It had a little bit of pageantry to it, but that's OK for those big moments.

Shoji alternated between those feminine sand colors and brighter hues of blue, "paprika" red and green. The blue dresses, including the boatneck sheath dressed up in lace and the chiffon-and-lace blousoned gown with pleats that created a Venetian-blind effect, were reminiscent of lovely vases from the Ming Dynasty.

Shoji, in his notes, said he aimed to take the audience at the Lincoln Center tents on a journey along the "modern Silk Road" from Venice cutwork, to Kazakhstan ikat and onward through the Gobi Desert and the ancient city of Xi'an in China.

Many of the eveningwear pieces had a looseness and unexpected ease while maintaining the grandeur of a black-tie gown, but perhaps more interesting were the more daytime friendly dresses with bands of different colors of lace and floral fabrics. Shoji seemed to know that a sliver of blue lace or red flowers would go a long way.

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