A dark and moody palette inspired by views of a garden at night proved to be the backbone of Tadashi Shoji’s latest collection. Florals and vines came in abundance — printed, rendered in lace, sequined — on a variety of occasion dresses. Some worked, as in an off-theme, floor-length black gown with built-in capelet in his signature embroidery, which is more often seen in his bridal collection, but welcomed in ready-to-wear, or an off-the-shoulder purple and green embroidered floral gown. Printed jersey knit offerings, from caftans to shorter cocktail dresses, felt less refined. The designer also carried over two ombré offerings from spring, but this time as full-length, ruched and tiered gowns.
UNIQLO’S AMERICAN DREAM: Presidential candidates aren’t the only ones trying to relay more of a true-blue everyman spirit. Uniqlo founder, chairman and chief executive officer Tadashi Yanai is the latest top brass executive to pen a personal letter as an ad to customers. The black and white two-page spread in the Aug. 6 edition of last week’s New York Times was noticeably starker than the brand’s vibrant colorful campaigns in the past. Save for the red “Dear America” intro, Yanai’s words were colorless, but aimed to convey a warmth just the same. “This country is a place where, if you have something great to offer, you will be embraced. I believed that in 1984 when I opened the first Uniqlo store in Japan with the dream of one day bringing my new idea to the United States.”
Aiming to hit $ 250 million in global sales by 2020, Yanai literally spelled out a few new initiatives including the openings of stores in Boston, Chicago and Seattle. He also explained the company’s name as an abbreviation for Unique Clothing Warehouse, and noted that LifeWear is simple apparel with a not so simple purpose: To make your life better. While not in Yanai’s words, the