Follow the Silk Road with Tadashi Shoji
We caught up with the Japanese-born American designer Tadashi Shoji recently as he was in town to receive a Designer of the Year award from Marymount University. You may recognize his name when Octavia Spencer from The Help help put his name on the red carpet radar and continues to do so.
Shoji drew inspiration for his most recent collection from various countries along the Silk Road. He, like many of us, was in wanderlust on the web. The Shanghai-based designer started reading about travel along Asia, but decided on his vacation to actually visit Buddhist carvings on a cave and see the Gobi desert in person, about a 6-7 hour flight. He says the camel ride may have been tortuous, but ultimately worth it for all the elements, textiles and embroidery that came together for Shoji’s latest dresses. He sat down with DC on Heels for an interview.
DC on Heels: You talk about virtual travel. But do you still recommend people actually go see things in person?
Shoji: You are born in a certain place that’s limited … The world is so big — unknown areas, unknown country. I want to know so many things. I’m very curious always. Travel is one such way to satisfy curiosity. I love travel. I’m not that young anymore, but if I can walk, traveling is better.
DCOH: What advice do you have for young modern to dress?
Shoji: Wear my dresses! (laughter) With one zip you can go from busy office to cocktail party. Our dress is very comfortable — that is my dress-making business. Fit is most important, and then my dress if they wear, confidence comes out. If they feel confident, they’ll feel so good and even more confident. I think life is so short, so I think one magical night for two or three hours they can wear my dress and feel like a princess for one night, I think my mission is accomplished.
Congratulations on the award — and cheers to dresses that fit and flare as well as go from day to night, leaving us feeling beautiful in our globalized world.