Inspired by the 60’s and 70’s of the youth from the times of revolution and rebellion, Tadashi Shoji’s F/W 2017 show was nothing of a dramatic and enigmatic start to RTW Week.
In a time where individuals who propelled to express themselves in a true and outstandish nature, it was all glitz and glamour for any size, any woman, any location. It was a love revolution drawn from the era of the rock ‘n’ roll period, from New York to Tokyo to London and even Paris, it was a period where ‘everyone had a youth revolution’, Shoji said of his collection.
Models strutted the runway with everything from bell sleeve dresses to chiffon dresses twisted at the waist down and even the occasional power-suit – a worthy praise of the quiet parallel between Shoji’s rebellious past inspired theme and the political changes in the world today, without naming it, very cunningly. Rose-printed chiffon, lace and velvet were the main contenders for this season’s collection, with glitter and sequins to complete the looks. With a palette ranging from fuchsia to purple and even green, it was a bounty of sensual colours and silhouettes for the form-fitting female body.
There was interesting tailoring to say the least, it wasn’t horribly disfiguring or eye catching, but the sensation of watching a few velvet dresses with such heavy draping at the legs allured to the heaviness of fabric, and that perhaps the use of fabric could have been done so that it was lightweight. Many of the evening dresses that sported V-necks were elegant and luxurious while still with that spirit in them, either stopping at the knees or tailing down with an airy flow. The use of the floral prints on some pieces was hit and misses, most decidedly due to the variation of colours they were printed on – the ones that appeared on dresses that were black seemed the most subdued.
Opulence was saved for the end if not for the handful of strong capes and suits that came out, with beautiful tailoring and draping that would have any superhero green with envy. Dresses that shimmered under the runway lights came out after one another – first in red, white, then grey both with A-line waists and edging sleeves. Then came navy, blush-pink and a burgundy that was, to say the least, unique. Most definitely a combination of a black-tie gown and the reminiscent of the 70’s, with the high neck, the pseudo-puffy shoulders and the shy show of the under garments.
Rather Diana Ross and Cher, if the era was to be personified.
As for hair, most noticeably, Shoji’s models all sported long bangs that stopped right at the eyes, a Jane Birkin feel, if you will. (The furs that went with some of the looks were a very Ms. Birkin feel, from a distance it would actually fee like she was walking the runway.)
The collection may not have been for everyone, as it held a unique feel that was both an ‘ah’ and ‘oh’ moment, neither too positive nor too negative. But a big ovation to Shoji, overall and for for the opening model who strutted out with a bandanna tied to her arm, while he came out at the end with one around his neck. Amidst the political turmoil and challenges being faced by many Americans, Shoji, who moved from Japan in the 1970’s, embraced the fight under the moniker #TiedTogether for universal inclusiveness.
A wonderful and powerful gesture of Shoji, who sends only the simplest message for this season: love, liberation and unity.