Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013 Collection

Posted on September 07, 2012

Darlings, while we spend the next couple of hours frantically uploading all 10,000 Project Runway decoy collections, we thought you deserved some Fashion with a capital F, as well as some hardcore pretty.

Kittens have no doubt heard us complain over and over again about the preponderance of sheers and lace on the red carpets and runways of the world, but Tadashi Shoji firmly shut our mouths with this, a collection of stunning dresses and gowns rendered in sheers and laces in brilliant hues of blue, red, black and cream. It was the use of technique that really got to us here; the strips of lace separated by strips of sheer fabric, or the way sheer prints and lace were integrated by utilizing box pleats. It’s all just so damn pretty – and it all needs to be handed out to starlets right now in order to make our red carpets more beautiful.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Stunning.

    • TVKimmy

      That really is the only word I could think of, STUNNING. 🙂

    • e m

      yup..unbelievably stunning. i would love to see fan bing bing in one of the blue dresses.

    • Introspective

      My breath was taken away. This is why we are all here on this site everyday. Because we yearn to see this.

      This, my fellow BKs, is fashion.

  • RzYoung


    • Corazon Nunez


  • Masterful handling of materials, color and proportion. Period.

    • call_me_schmeg

      with a dramatic hand-to-forehead, i die….

      •  So many designers get overly caught up in their POV, or “what they are trying to say”. How about just making clothes that are lovely, and that women actually want to wear?  Seems like a no brainer, right?  THIS is simply perfect. And a great many of these looks could be scaled well to any figure or age.

        • And they fit a variety of styles too, a cornucopia of pretty!

        • Jennifer L.

          Exactly. I think part of that success is the desire to showcase the lace patterns, rather than using the lace as an excuse to show some skin. 

        • j_anson

          Totally. I think it’s a mistake to think that you’re not doing real design/fashion unless you’re being outre. Sure, these kinds of gowns are, at a gross conceptual level, not that different from something you can buy in a department store. But you could never buy this kind of perfection in a department store. It’s mastery at both the technical and artistic level.

  • I love that crazy striped look navy, blue, and green number. They should have a year where they send the dresses to ordinary people like me instead of those crazy starlets!!! 🙂

    • pattyw

      I know! Wouldn’t you just once, if only for 5 minutes even, love to wear a piece of real designer clothing. Honestly, I’d like to just hold one of these dresses in my hand or see it in person.

      • Absolutely! I would have zero appropiate venues to wear them but I’d be content just twirling around at home in one of these beauties.

    • Yes! We ordinary people deserve the chance to WERQ too!

    • Yes! We ordinary people deserve the chance to WERQ too!

    • Yes! We ordinary people deserve the chance to WERQ too!

    •  That’s the one I want, too! I would wear it to pick up the kids at school, but I would sashay as though my life depended on it.

    •  That’s the one I want, too! I would wear it to pick up the kids at school, but I would sashay as though my life depended on it.

  • ralish

    Beautiful collection (with a few exceptions.) But what’s with all the drop waists?

    •  Great Gatsby-influenced looks? Wasn’t that popular a little while ago?

    • The waists don’t bother me, since my natural waistline is just south of my girls.  When I wear stuff at my natural waistline, I usually end up looking like one of those old guys with their pants pulled up to their nipple line.

    • The waists don’t bother me, since my natural waistline is just south of my girls.  When I wear stuff at my natural waistline, I usually end up looking like one of those old guys with their pants pulled up to their nipple line.

  • M_E_S

    Those blues are taking my breath away (especially the top one)!  *grabby hands*

    • Terrie_S

      That and the similar pieces remind me of blackwork embroidery. I’m totally drooling.

  • OwnsHairlessCats

    Beautiful. I covet them.

  • what talent, just beautiful.

  • VicksieDo

    The only one that is striking to me is the first one, that blue ( a color usually find way too bright) is stunning in this dress.

  • Tatiana Luján

    And no granny-panties at sight.

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Or visible industrial zippers.  Double win.

  • So very stunning!  I can see the FLOTUS in the first blue one.  She would kill it!

    • amf0001

      I was thinking Princess Kate – but it’s the same official capacity,  eye catching yet totally appropriate…

    • ampg

      That was my thought, too – 2nd Inaugural Ball gown, perhaps?

    • Liz Van Alstine

      Also my first thought!

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Yes!  Color!! 

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Loving everything except for that creme meringue pie on the second-to-last row from the right.

  • Eclectic Mayhem

    This is beautiful, thanks for posting.

  • Tatiana Luján

    The blue, green and yellow dress with sleeves: Gorgeous.

  • MilaXX

    Gorgeous! Full stop. Love this entire collection.

  • Not crazy about  the black numbers but the rest are divine. Making me do happy little sighs. 

    ETA: especially the second row from the bottom. I would wear any of those.

  • Alyson Epstein

    Gorgeous and feminine!  love

  • eclare

    Well damn…I think I just found my wedding dress.

    • No kidding! My first reaction was “now THIS would make a great bridal collection!”

  • siriuslover

    I could do without the creams, but those dresses in the blues and the shades of peacock were magnificent. Just gorgeous.

  • Larkin21

    Gorgeous. I especially like the blues. The reds are stunning as well.

  • BPlease

    This stuff is freaking gorgeous!  Damn!  I adore the strapless blue gown with sheer insets after the midthigh, the Peter Pan collared dresses in turquoise and orange-red, and the first two black gowns in particular.  It’s all just beautiful to behold.

  • Absolutely gorgeous. So many red carpet ready looks.

  • Ah. Sigh. Happy now! :]

  • I just fell in love with lace all over again….

  • dress_up_doll

    I love this collection. And it’s so nice to see such saturated and sumptuous colors.

  • Dear LORD that is pretty…(or as my southern self would say perty..)

  • kelsita421

    yes, please.

  • Wow! I guess maybe this is what everybody else has been aiming for with lace and sheers? Its just all so pretty and feminine and romantic and visually interesting. I could just do with a bit less red lace. 

  • SRQkitten


    This is how lace & sheer should be done. Where were these looks (or the less expensive adaptations) when I needed a grownup dress to wear?


  • granddelusion

    Yes! Technique and color! I’m still not a fan of the see-through crap, and the blacks are the weakest, not surprisingly. But that opening blue number is gorgeous!

  • msdamselfly

    OMG  Gorgeous

  • Alisa Rivera

    Not feeling the Miss Haversham dirty cream dresses, but otherwise this is jaw-droppingly beautiful

  • gabbilevy

    Oh, heaven. Particularly the lead photo, the first two rows, and the last row. 

  • lilibetp

    That IS some hardcore pretty!

  • DinaSews

    Hardly any black AND feminine.  Love it.

  • tallgirl1204

    Love the batik-y prints, second last row.

  • miagain

    edible and wearable… what’s not to love!

  • I kinda wish I could wear clothes like these all the time, even to the grocery store (maybe a tie-dyed with flat sandals).  So romantic, flowy; I could not help going through life with “I Feel Pretty” in my every step.

  • IMNAngryLiberal

    I’m not nuts about the deep V dress bound together with string, but the rest of these are really fabulous. 

  • IMNAngryLiberal

    I’m not nuts about the deep V dress bound together with string, but the rest of these are really fabulous. 

  • And there are options for different styles to in a very “Oscar de la Renta” way. A cornucopia of pretty!

  • Spicytomato1

    Oh my goodness. The very first blue one. It’s like a dream. They’re all beautiful but that is one I truly covet.

  • I LOVE LOVE LURVE the blues and reds….absolutely beautiful.

  • I LOVE LOVE LURVE the blues and reds….absolutely beautiful.

  • Joyce VG


  • Joyce VG


  • StelledelMare

    I want ALL the blues, reds, and blacks. Love, love, love

  • Judy_J

    Love this collection!  Wish I had tons ‘o money.

  • Kate4queen

    I’m a big fan of Tadashi Shoji and have a ton of his dresses in my closet. These are beautiful 🙂

    • ojosazules

      Lucky you! 

      • Kate4queen

        I know 🙂

  • m0r0


  • jmorino08

    Wow! Gorgeous!!

  • ballerinawithagun

    Love the sheer Ikat fabric! Fabulous use of lace and sheers.

  • SusiePamudji

    I want all of these. Especially the first one. So stunning!

  • marilyn

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!  This is fashion.  It makes the stuff PR is turning out seem like garbage by comparison to this beautiful stuff. Kudos!

    • oohsparkley!

      When you only have 1 day to design and sew a gown, it isn’t really fair to compare. I have to believe at least some of them could do better with more time. But I know what you’re saying.

  • Clueless_Jock

    Gorgeous collection.

  • CQAussie

    Gorgeous, I loved several of the dresses.

  • RebeccaKW

    These are amazing.  I rarely see more than one or two pieces I would wear, if even that, and this…I would wear almost all of this. 

  • jjfg

    Oh wow, gorgeous!!

  • PinkLemon

    holy gorgeous

  • I love Tadashi. 

  • oohsparkley!

    Luv, luv, luv them all (except the beige/cream – not my thing).

  • Lilithcat

    I am madly in love with the first dress.  The rest, not so much.

  • Lola67

    Soooo pretty! The blues are really speaking to me. Love that the shoes aren’t ridiculous.

  • fungstyle

    I’ve got 50 bucks that says stylists for michelle williams and cary mulligan already ordered top row, dress 3 (orange, with the collar)

  • michelle shields

    Can’t wait to see what Hollywood body one of these ends up on. Hopefully someone truely worthy. All of these pieces are stunning!

  • SewingSiren

    I love the whole collection. I was very draw to the impressionistic photo you had on the tweeter.

  • Snailstsichr

    This is all so pretty I can’t even pick a favorite. Love it all.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    that blue dress.   heartbreakingly beautiful.

  • elleg929


  • Well this is my pretty of the day. 

  • Trisha26

    Stunning. Timeless and modern.

  • Myra C

    WOW. Just gorgeous.  I really and truly want to own every piece in this collection.

  • I really love these, especially the blues and reds!

  • Judy_S

    Jaw dropping.  Possibly heart-stopping. Oh, you luckies to see these live!!!

  • GraceArmstrong

    These dresses make my mouth water, they are so gorgeous.

  • cindy_lightballoon

    I want all of it. NOW. gimme gimme gimme!!!!

    absolutely stunning

  • guest2visits

    Just beautiful.   Although – I will always associate a see-through skirt with the hokey, faux-fashion costumes
                            of the original StarTrek series.  (still love those first edition shows!)

  • MarissaLG

    I’d be interested to see what those t-shirt shapes look like on non-models. Not saying that they’d look bad AT ALL- in fact, I think a lot of women who aren’t comfortable in a strapless gown would be drawn to that shape, so I wish I could see what that looks like. 

  • frannyprof

    Gorgeous. I want them all.

  • onyxkatze

    Oh — LUST. Every single piece.

  • poketom

    It’s so funny, when I first saw this, I thought, “TLo are gonna HATE this!!” 

    So I’m glad to learn you dont!

  • The only two I REALLY like are the top picture and the very last black gown. It’s all very pretty… just not for me.

  • AthenaJ

    After the hot messes that were a majority of the PR collections, my immediate thought upon viewing is THIS is how it’s done, bitches!!

  • Until today, I despised colored lace on the grounds that it looked cheap and tacky.  This has changed my mind completely!

    Imagine — lace used as an integral design element as opposed to a peek-a-boo granny-panty peep show.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    I don’t care for it, personally, but I can see several pieces that scream certain starlets’ names.  There is no denying that it displays impressive workmanship.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    I don’t care for it, personally, but I can see several pieces that scream certain starlets’ names.  There is no denying that it displays impressive workmanship.

  • I want to wear every single piece there. Few collections can boast that honor. 🙂

  • NCDFan

    There are some lovely looks here. I don’t care for everything but the ones I do like are stunning.

  • Susan Crawford

    Tadashi Shoji is, was and always will be MAY-JAH in this woman’s book of fashion cravings. He has, in this collection, outdone himself! I want everything, and what is more, with Shoji, women of MANY sizes and shapes will be able to share in the beauty and look great. Shoji is living proof that couture-level work as well as classic ready to wear CAN be designed for “real” women. 

    Also AWESOME? Our Fearless Gay Uncles, Tom and Lorenzo, who have never let us down, even when Fashion Week coincides with Project Runway during the final stages of preparing for their book launch while being interviewed for the NY Times and live-tweeting their little buns off . . . phew! This Bitter Kitten is prostrate with exhaustion just thinking of it. You are two cyclones of chic, my dears.

  • Samuel Donovan

    The blue one all the way to the right in the second row is giving me chills it’s so beautiful.

  • j_anson

    Immaculate. All too delicate for me to even fantasize about wearing. But beautiful.

  • j_anson

    Is it weird that my second thought was, I wish there were this kind of point of view in men’s fashion? I don’t mean putting men in laces and sheers. I mean, bringing this kind of aesthetic of immaculate, sophisticated, intricate detail to men’s clothing.

  • Lisa Kramp

    This collection actually made me sigh happily.  It’s so incredibly lovely. I can’t wait to see FLOTUS wear the top dress to the inaugural ball.

  • Last row far left would be a KILLA dress on taylor swift. May the taylor camp hear me.

  • hoez

    Want to see Ayumi Hamasaki in some of these…. 😉 She wore Tadashi for her Love songs album.

  • ALL THE BLUE! So perfectly chic and feminine.

  • Oh, god, these are SO PRETTY!  I just love everything!

  • Corazon Nunez

    My fave is first row, all the way to the right. So pretty!

  • wow. i would wear so many of these. they’re gorgeous!

  • Wow. That entire collection is just amazingly beautiful. I can’t believe I am loving lace that much but the color really makes it. A few of these during award season would keep the yawning at bay.

  • quiltrx

    WOW.  Every bit of this is absolutely gorgeous!  Quickly becoming one of my favorite designers…incredible use of the materials, and a real knack for making women of ANY size look beautiful.

  • ChristinaRi


  • Qitkat

    Mmmm. Even the really sheer ones manage to look very classy.

  • The black row, third from the left needs to be on Florence Welch RIGHT NOW.

  • DCSheehan

    Wow. There are a couple of looks I question (tea stained lace?) on the whole this is divine. Yay for colour!

  • PeaceBang

    Bowing DOWN! The first poppy and black ones in their row are killing me softly with their song. And the entire blue row is causing me to salivate. They’re really quite genius. The necklines are worth careful study. I am so tired of seeing stupid, unflattering necklines. Bravo.

  • Kyle Crawford

    WOW! 3000 years in to take lace and sheer and make it look new / clean / fresh…..BEAUTIFUL.

    • Kyle Crawford

      4/4 is just amazing

  • Patricia Gillett

    Divine. Not if only the stylists to the ladystars would pay attention to the more brightly hued portions of this collection. I fear that they are going to focus on only the ones that are, as you say, old-bra colored. 

  • akprincess72

    That first blue dress is so perfect, I truly love it.  I think this will be the first collection where I Pin the whole darn thing!!!

  • aristida_girl

    I would love to wear/own any one of these confections…This show must have been breathtaking..I hope you are having a fabulous time boys!

  • bitterk

    o m G beautiful

  • Love that first dress

  • PhillipWilde

    This collection is everything.

  • libraangel


  • So I need a couch… but I see this and I think, fuck it, Room and Board isn’t going anywhere- I need these dresses.

  • TieDye64

    Wow. I can’t even imagine how gorgeous these pieces were in person. Exquisite.

  • Blondage

    *mental orgasm*

  • The model in the first black dress looks like she’s coming AND going.  It could be the back AND the front of the dress…bizarre.

  • OffToSeeHim

    It’s so bad that any time I see anything that smacks of quilting (far right, 2nd four down) I think they’re copying of Jay McCarroll and hate them for it. But I want all these dresses so badly. In a size 18 (FINE, you bitches, a size 20) short.