likes to use his travels as inspiration. For Spring, the designer took us on a journey that started in California with the first outfit—a blue embroidered sheath dress that echoed a Venetian tablecloth the designer found at the Rose Bowl market in Pasadena. The warm West Coast weather could also be responsible for two of the collection's more casual looks—lace shorts and breezy trapeze blouses, a little something different for Shoji. From there the range traveled eastward through the Gobi desert, where long dresses in blue, rose, and jade got a patchwork treatment inspired by the caves of Dunhuang. Next was a series of pleated ikat-print dresses that sparked "oohs" and "aahs" from the crowd. Little did they know, those frocks were made from 40 individual pieces of gazar. The final stop was the ancient capital Xi'an, which apparently inspired embellished tulle gowns of the kind that have made Shoji a red-carpet staple. Still, it's the separates and colorful prints that we'd like to see more of in the future.