Tadashi Shoji just presented his spring/summer 2014 runway show at New York Fashion Week about an hour ago, so we can officially talk about our visit to his studio two days ago. We popped by the designer's showroom to chat about his inspiration, the process and his nerves—or lack thereof. "I'm very calm," he told InStyle.com, nonchalantly. But he was excited to share the story and thought process behind his sugary collection of 38 looks, which encompassed the prettiest pastel shades, intricate embroidery and layers upon layers of lace. The concept behind his collection revolves around the idea of a "sweet liberation," a movement that celebrates femininity. "In the '80s, women had to fight in a man’s world. Women now are self-confident. It's time for sweetness to come out," he told InStyle.com. But instead of solely relying on lace, tulle and organza to inject "sweetness", Shoji used modern-day fabrics like neoprene and silver chain-ring detailing to bring his designs to new heights. Click the photo to take an exclusive look at all the details, his original sketches and more.
1. On His Inspiration
"It was 'sweet liberation,' not the women’s liberation in the '60s," Shoji told InStyle.com "In the '80s, women had to fight in a man’s world. Women now are self-confident. It's time for sweetness to come out. That's the reason we have sweet colors and layers and layers of lace over other fabrics."
2. The Model Board
Two days before his spring/summer 2014 show, Shoji said he was "very calm. Every season, I'm more and more calm; the stressful times are over. Right now, we have 18 girls and it's a puzzle: who goes where and which dress."
3. The fittings
And the kind of women he wants to see in his dresses? "Women who are confident with who she is. If I can help them, I'm happy."
4. The process
"The preparation of the fabric took the most time. After an idea of the designs and fabrics, we sent it to the mill. They gave us small samples of embroidery. If I liked it, we dyed the fabric. The process took two to three months."
5. The Edited-Out Pieces
With only 38 looks reserved for the runway, many of Shoji's pieces were cut from the show.
6. The Many Layers of Fabric
"This one has 5 different fabrics in the collaging. Underneath is sequined fabric over neoprene. So, there's neoprene, sequins and embroidery."
7. The Makeup and Hair Inspiration
"For hair, we're thinking one side-part and loose. For makeup, it'll be very natural. It’ll be very pretty, I think."
8. The Sweet Effect
"We're known for sexy dresses, but I’m tired of that. The collaging of fabrics, the white organza and layered fabrics create a softness. I wanted everything soft, soft, soft."
9. From Sketch to Reality
Shoji showed us the original sketch of the dress, which also happened to be one of the dresses the model was trying on for the fitting.
10. It's All In the Details
"We used sequins, chains and rhinestones," Shoji pointed out, which was also based off his original sketch.