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Where EAST meets the Northwest

RETURN TO ROOTS. In this image taken from video, a model wears fashion from the Tadashi Shoji spring-summer 2020 collection during Fashion Week in New York. In the show, titled "Once Upon a Time ... in Japan," the designer captured the essences of cherry blossoms, Japanese gardens, and Watteau gowns. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Velasquez)

From The Asian Reporter, V29, #18 (September 16, 2019), page 7.

Tadashi Shoji returns to Japanese roots at New York Fashion Week

By Alicia Rancilio

The Associated Press

NEW YORK ó Tadashi Shoji said returning to his Japanese roots on the runway took years.

In a show he titled "Once Upon a Time ... in Japan," the designer captured the essences of cherry blossoms, Japanese gardens, and Watteau gowns at New York Fashion Week. He used lace overlays, obi sashes, intricate swirl prints, romantic flowers, capes, one shoulder gowns, brocade fabrics, and kimono-style dresses for spring-summer 2020.

"I was raised there. Itís where I was born. All the memories are there. Before, maybe I didnít have confidence to use (the) Japanese element. So always journalists are asking me, ĎWhat is the Japanese influence in fashion,í and I couldnít answer that," he told The Associated Press. "But now ... I have the confidence so I can use those kind[s] of stuff."

The 71-year-old Shoji is from Sendai but is based in America. He rolled out sleeveless dresses with embroidered tulle and colors that included periwinkle, coral, deep violet, and also black and white. He also showcased body diversity with some curvier models on the runway.

He put a tie bow in front of a high-slit black gown trimmed in red with side cutouts. A cocktail dress in delicate pink had a wide black belt with a large bow to one side. A bright white gown had sleeves with a drape effect at the shoulders a low back.

Shoji kept a black high-waisted trouser look sleek with a patterned floral blouse that had asymmetrical short sleeves.

There was plenty of sparkle and drama in full tulle skirts on statement gowns, sometimes mixed with his lace overlay. Shoji stuck to florals in patterns and embellishment.

* * *

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK. Models Alva Chinn, Karen Bjornson, and Pat Cleveland appear with fashion designer Naeem Khan (second from right) after walking the runway during the Naeem Khan show during Fashion Week in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

From The Asian Reporter, V29, #18 (September 16, 2019), page 7.

Naeem Khan launches his fashion collection at home

By Brooke Lefferts

The Associated Press

NEW YORK ó Naeem Khan brought it home with his new spring-summer 2020 collection, launching his runway show in the chic lobby and courtyard of his New York City apartment building.

The longtime designer set up shop on the ground floor of the ultramodern Zaha Hadid Building on Manhattanís west side. Lucite chairs lined the entryway and outside space of the building ó a modern metallic and glass structure with serpentine lines and rounded balconies towering over a courtyard. Hadid, who was a close friend of Khanís, designed the building before her death in 2016.

Khan said the space Hadid created inspired the collection, calling it salon-like and intimate.

"Lots of separates, lots of coats, jackets, of course glamour, because Iím known for that, but itís like fluid, itís light, itís airy. The pajamas are so chic. Itís like, tunics mixed with pants. Really glamour at its most relaxed form," Khan told The Associated Press at the show.

A parade of models strutting in impossibly high stiletto heels entered into the buildingís courtyard, with the evening breeze helping to increase the dramatic effect of the loose, flowing designs. Most wore slicked-back updos with intricate fishtail buns, accentuated by huge gold hoop earrings with bejeweled parrots and seahorses.

The first several looks were animal print pajama pantsuits, dresses, and jumpsuits with matching thin billowing jackets. While some prints were in the fabric, many were embellished with sequins, creating glittering texture.

Vibrant colors were also part of the collection and seen in silk pajamas with giant flowers. One knockout look was a bright, fuchsia satin halter sheath that poured down to the floor, with a stream of fabric down the back. Several designs honored Khanís Indian heritage, including a pink sari-inspired dress with a dramatic train of ombre effects of pink and orange chiffon, and a long green tunic dress with a decorative panel of beading.

There were glitzy wide-legged pants with matching tunics covered in monochromatic sequins of black, bright yellow, and aquamarine. A metallic gold three-tiered backless dress shimmered, capturing the evening light as the sun set.

Khan has been in the fashion industry for 30 years and has dressed many A-list celebrities. He said glamour has changed and young people want to look beautiful but less "stuffy" so he is changing with the times.

Celebrities seated in the front row included Ryan Seacrest, reality star Kaitlynn Carter, and Miss Universe Catriona Gray. Seacrest said he always tries to make time for Khanís shows and he may have had extra incentive to attend.

"Amazing, stunning, glitz, glamour Ö Iím really in awe of what he did. And one of the models especially was incredible, my dear friend," Seacrest said with a smile, referring to model Shayna Taylor, who walked in the show and whom he has dated in the past.

Gray said the Hadid building added to the mood.

"I loved the drama of this venue and paired with the music, it was operatic and there was a tribal feeling there also Ö there were sequins, there was chiffon, it was very feminine and romantic," Gray said.

* * *

BACK IN BLACK. The Vera Wang collection is modelled during Fashion Week on September 10, 2019 in New York. After a two-year break, Wang returned to the New York Fashion Week runway. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

From The Asian Reporter, V29, #18 (September 16, 2019), page 8.

Vera Wang returns, with hippie hair and couture lingerie

By Jocelyn Noveck

The Associated Press

NEW YORK ó After a two-year break, Vera Wang returned to the New York Fashion Week runway with a moody and visually arresting show that featured high-couture lingerie elements, hippie hair, and heels so spiky that some models struggled to stay on their feet.

Camisoles. Bustiers. Garters. Corsets. All of these were on full display in a show that took place in a dark room punctuated by dramatic columns of white light. The show was titled: "Seduction. Layering to Reveal. Done and Undone."

Colors were mainly black, gray, white, and metallic ó but, typically of Wang, mostly black. Charmeuse, silk, lace, and tulle were in abundance.

"California Dreaminí" was on the soundtrack, and thatís what was on Wangís mind, too, she said, as she developed her collection, though to others there was a distinct Victorian feel as well.

"It was a California dream, yeah, sexy, underwear, layering, things falling off," she said in an interview backstage. "Also, girls falling off their shoes," she quipped of some modelsí mishaps involving impossibly long skirts and spiky high heels. "That I didnít plan on, but it happened."

Realizing her vision "was wonderful because it was very much the mood I was in," Wang said. "You know as a designer you feel whatís going on around you, at least I do, culturally. It isnít just an isolated exercise. So I really wanted that hippie hair and L.A. attitude, but the clothes were definitely couture."

For the last two years, Wang had presented her collections via films but decided to return to a staged show this season.

"Film is very different than staging 45 girls, and fittings," she noted, adding that "the level of clothing that we make and show is very couture. Itís not meant to be contemporary or ready-to-wear, itís really about the craft of creating incredible workmanship."

She credited her team: "No matter what I dream, if they canít sew it, itís not real," she said.

Also not real, hopefully? That clump of hair Wang scooped up from the floor as she came out for her bow, to applause from guests that included Zendaya and Vanessa Hudgens.


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