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Male designer understands the female form — curves and all

JACKIE O' FLASH - Bea J. Ledesma (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2013 - 12:00am

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that every designer is in want of a skinny muse.

Not so for Japanese American designer Tadashi Shoji, who dressed up Octavia Spencer when she won the Oscar for The Help. Tadashi, renowned for his mastery of the drape, is not afraid of a woman with curves. Boobs, hips, a waist larger than an underfed model’s? Not a problem for the man who can dress any figure, from Dita von Teese to Katy Perry to Florence Welch.

At his F/W 2013 presentation last week, the designer merged fashion and philanthropy, devoting the show — along with a generous personal donation of $5,000 —  to benefit the Assumption Transformative School in Passi, Iloilo, a charity pledged to educating underprivileged kids. “Philanthropy is important to both myself and Rustan’s and to be active within the community is fundamental,” Tadashi says. â€œThis year’s fashion show will benefit the Assumption Transformative School in Passi, Iloilo and I am humbled to be a part of the school’s aid.”

Folklore and fashion

Inspired by exiled nobility, the splendor of the Russian Empire and the eventual fall of imperial rule, Tadashi rendered aristocratic vestments with a modern touch, delivering floorlength gowns in traditional embroidered patterns, like cut velvet, with contemporary silhouettes. He offered versions for cocktail, like a sleeveless shift with a forgiving line, and a body-skimming number with long sleeves. On a crushed velvet number, he introduced a sleeveless version with a cowl-draped back. Rich textures ruled at this show, as though to prove that philanthropy doesn’t necessarily require a monastic perspective.

Lace, laser cut textiles and layers of tulle on a contrasting palette of sapphire, burgundy and carmine against blush, rose taupe and snow display an evenhandedness with juxtaposition.

Clearly, the man is a master of the female form — showing off figures, curvy or not, with a finesse that makes even the most difficult of drapes look easy.

ASSUMPTION TRANSFORMATIVE SCHOOL FLORENCE WELCH ILOILO AND I JAPANESE AMERICAN KATY PERRY OCTAVIA SPENCER PASSI RUSSIAN EMPIRE TADASHI
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