Tadashi Shoji draws on an ancient Asian empire for his Fall/Winter 2020 collection

Japanese designer, Tadashi Shoji, headed East for inspiration for his 2020 Fall/Winter collection. He turned to the Mongolian Empire, which controlled much of Asia in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Shoji says it was a case of West meets East, rather than East meets West, and he says, the first major mingling of the two cultures at the time.

"You cannot define which country; which culture is which. So that started from that period and that inspired me, so, 'Oh that is a great idea,' so we did a show about this one."

Shoji's design philosophy is to create beauty and comfort for woman of all sizes and he says this never interferes with his creativity.

"I am confident that with draping and the cut you can enhance in the right places and camouflage the wrong place. And it makes it beautiful, and plus comfortable," said Shoji, adding that being squeezed into tight dresses for the sake of so-called beauty is "torturous" and that women need to be able to sit, move and dance in comfort.

The gowns awakened images of Mongolian warriors, with brightly beaded panels flowing on draped fabric. Bright, rich colors; blues, reds, browns and blacks were accented with shiny gold and silver and animal print. Sequins provided even more glitter and texture, on velvet-patterned fabrics. Shoulders were puffy and broad, sometimes geometric, sometimes flowery. Long black taffeta trains added to the dramatic look.


Shoji's collection was, as is traditional, the first to show in New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2020.