Inspired by the beauty and splendor of the tulip, Tadashi Shoji’s first dress – a magnolia silk linen, hand-painted strapless number – conjured the flower perfectly. That said, the rest of the collection – drop-waisted frocks, chiffony goddess gowns, sugary tiered pleated dresses and a few lacey confections that could work as wedding gowns – well, they were not fresh enough for the bouquet.
Everything was delicate to be sure. Some of it smacked of vintage in a good way, like it came out of Granny’s trunk, and some of it looked old – as in old lady. There were a few good standouts, including a lavender gown that seemed as if the designer had simply swathed the model in chiffon and knotted it (simplicity can be good!) and a clever ivory daisy print that read like a photograph.
Unfortunately, even young models seemed to age in most of these creations, the worst of which was a fern crinkled job with a petal detail across the bust that looked like wilted lettuce.