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Yesterday, Tadashi Shoji, debuted his Fall 2012 collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. After showing his collection, he gave a private presentation in the American Express Skybox, where he spoke about his passion for designing, his inspiration behind the collection, and how his parents weren’t so sure that becoming a fashion designer was the best career path (they would have preferred him to pursue a career as a doctor or a lawyer). At least they would have preferred that before they realized that Tadashi would become so successful as a designer! And what does it take to be successful in the fashion design world? According to Tadashi, it takes the ability to understand what makes a woman put a dress on and feel inspired, confident, and beautiful. On more than one occasion, Tadashi’s clients have even become teary eyed upon catching a glance of themselves in the mirror for the first time wearing his designs – he truly has an innate sense of understanding when it comes to creating garments that flatter the female form. More after the jump…

And yet despite his success as a designer, Tadashi couldn’t be more humble. He possesses the characteristics of any nervous speaker when addressing a roomful of doting fans, who hang on his every word and are more than eager to throw compliments his way. But trust me, these compliments aren’t just empty words meant to flatter his ego, they are sincere; anyone who has had the privilege of  wearing a Tadashi gown knows that he is a master at his craft!

For his Fall 2012 collection, Tadashi Shoji was inspired by the ‘Golden Age of Shanghai, a glamorous world of modernity, transformation, and prosperity that preludes a darker time. Opulent fabrics of lace, chiffon, silk, and velvet were the craft of the silhouettes of drop line waist dresses, column gowns, and extended hemlines. Brilliant colors of marina and seagrass are exemplified by the natural hues of ginseng and hazel. The collection is a mecca of wealth and sophistication, the “Paris of the Orient” that will forever be a fixture of Shanghai’s identity. And to finish with a quote that Tadashi included in his inspiration: “I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men.” ~Marlen Dietrich. Below are photos from Tadashi’s Fall 2012 collection – note the rich velvets, lace appliques, and form fitting silhouettes.