December 17, 2013 New York
Tadashi Shoji played to his strengths for Pre-Fall with a consistent collection of his best-selling cocktail dresses and evening gowns, several of which are bound to wind up on the red carpet during awards season. According to Shoji, the season's shapes were "soft and feminine, fusing carefree ease and sophistication," and the jewel-tone color palette was inspired by "the glazes of Ottoman tile work." That made for a lineup that was predictably pretty and flattering, if at times repetitive. The designer moved in a modern direction with flared, knee-length frocks, and strapless sheaths cut from trendy neoprene featuring lace-like perforations. Elsewhere, he incorporated real lace into his signature occasionwear. It came paneled on floor-skimming column gowns with long sleeves, and was used as an accent on a handful of separates, including a Georgette peasant blouse and a slim pencil skirt. Overall, the collection could've benefited from a wider variety of silhouettes—there was nary a pair of pants in sight here.