Tadashi Shoji Goes California Dreamin’
Represented by Linda Gaunt Communications.
The West Coast has long been a safe haven for the imagination of artists. It’s a phenomenon documented in the The Mamas & the Papas’ 1965 hit “California Dreamin’,” and even seen in the final Saint Laurent collection from Hedi Slimane.
You can understand why such a change of mental scenery could prove particularly refreshing to an artist like Tadashi Shoji, whose hallmark has always been structured silhouettes made for the red carpet.
Tadashi Shoji: NYFW SS18
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For SS18, the press materials set a detailed narrative for the collection:
“The Malibu sun is setting beyond the wave breaks. The sky is tinted in muted neons. With salty hair and sandy feet, it’s time to swap your board for your gown. Top down, cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway until the curtain of night is pinned by the stars. Destination: Los Angeles. A chance invite from a friend takes you through rolling hills to a secluded enclave, nestled within a woodland canyon. Partygoers roll up, draped in gemstone colors — red jasper, jade, rose quartz, yellow opal, azurite and agate. All are welcome — artists and musicians, bohemians and émigrés. Where fame and fortune mix with wanderers and nomads. Where moguls mingle with children of the ocean. It’s the mystique of Southern California that draws them — days of possibility alongside nights of allure and beauty. Make your way to the courtyard garden, past the heady smells of night-blooming jasmine and moonflowers. Relax and unwind — it’s a Golden State of mind.”
One wonders if the current political climate also played into this sort of idealized Laurel Canyon experience. After all, California was one of the states that most defied the choice of current administration (as demonstrated in the CalExit initiative.)
California, for all the ways it’s often lampooned, remains — much like New York City — a haven for dreamers, idealists, the forward-thinking, and the just-plain-different. It’s the realization of the American ideal of inclusiveness and freedom of expression.
For New York Fashion Week, Shoji remained true to his core form — fairy tale elegance — while mixing in exquisite florals, cabana stripes, Spanish off-shoulder looks, and even boho patterns with hippie appeal.
But the show-stoppers were the final two looks, covered in gauzy constellations, that seemed to suggest a universe filled with beautiful, harmonious possibilities.