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New York Fashion Week: At Mara Hoffman and Tadashi Shoji, the new New Age

February 10, 2011 |  4:44 pm


Where designers Mara Hoffman and Tadashi Shoji are concerned, fall is all about spiritual transcendence, 1970s style.

Oh well, Jerry Brown is back in the governor's office. And the New Age, funk-soul side of the Me Decade is one we didn't see too much of last season in the spring shows.

But to have an indie designer (Hoffman) and a department store dress stalwart (Tadashi) channeling the same cosmic wavelengths, well, there must be something in the air.

For Shoji, it was spirituality in a Far East, Zen kind of way. "The art of birds dancing ... branches intertwining ... light reflecting in water," his show notes stated. How that translated into formalwear was at times head-scratching.

There was a certain liquidity to softly draped, silk crepe one-shoulder dresses in shades of "eclipse," "sunglow" and "horizon." And the hand-cut silk organza petals on cocktail shifts had a rough elegance to them. Shoji finished with a pair of draped gowns -- one with a single sleeve, another with a pleated, floor-length skirt.

His less-is-more looks were the most successful. And they made a strong statement for a new ease in dressing up, even if they did borrow a bit from last season's Lanvin collection.


For Hoffman, the theme was sacred-warrior-meets-Earth-mother, with hooded caftans in tribal prints, Peruvian knits, macrame-detailed gowns worn with turbans and talisman-like jewelry by All for the Mountain.

It was a good look, especially for California. Guess it's time to dig out the yin-yang symbol necklace again and plan a trip to Big Sur.

-- Booth Moore in New York

Tadashi Shoji runway collection photo gallery

Photos top: Looks from the Tadashi Shoji Fall 2011 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times.

Photos bottom: Looks from the Mara Hoffman Fall 2011 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Randy Brooke.