"For the past couple of years, I've been moving west to east. Now, I'm going from Africa to Europe," said Tadashi Shoji of the geographical direction of his Fall 2014 collection. The particular focus was Moorish architecture, which Shoji conveyed through expert fabric cutting and embroidery.

A navy micro-suede cape was laser cut to mimic Moroccan tiling, and an orange-red gown—in tulle, one of Shoji's favorite materials to work with—was embroidered with corded flowers, which were outlined with hot pink stitching. (The collection's burnished hues, by the way, were meant to mimic the glazes used to color tiles.) There was heavy crewel embroidery, too, the most beautiful on a floor-length black-and-red cape that was worn with an ivory lace gown.

The closing numbers—a series of velvet cocktail dresses and gowns with distinct seaming—were the real showstoppers. Strips of chiffon were sewn into the seams to mimic frayed edges, and there were inserts of velvet paillettes that shimmered just so when brushed upward. Those looks were far more successful than a series of fishnet gowns with hand-set diamante studs. The superiority of the technique was undeniable, but the final result just didn't satisfy as much as the rest of the collection.