NEW YORK -- Tadashi Shoji mixed plus-size models with the usual ultra-thin ones Thursday at New York Fashion Week, rolling out evening gowns with high slits, capes and sari influences in deep reds and blues, along with classic black.
Some of his touches were an ode to a favorite vacation spot, Southeast Asia, along with the monks of his religion, Buddhism, the designer said in a backstage interview.
"All the culture, history, architecture, costume. Those kind of stuff inspire me," Shoji said.
He elevated the glam factor with sequins, lace and velvet. A one-shoulder gown in a silver and black print fell just below the knee in front but trailed on the runway in the back in grand fashion. He paired it with black evening gloves.
Other looks were tiered, including a pale pink confection that fell off the shoulder. Another was lace on top in long sleeves and an exposed neck with an ombre effect below the waist that turned from black to a burnt orange at the hem.
He mixed satin and velvet for another one-shoulder gown with a full train and matching evening gloves. A bright red gown included a crossover sash. He went full silver sequins for another look worthy of a red carpet.
Shoji, who lives in Shanghai about half the year, still gets a thrill when celebrities don his clothes. They include Octavia Spencer, Michelle Obama and Katy Perry.
"It's so exciting," he said of seeing his creations on red carpets and during Obama's events as first lady. "I'm very fortunate."
Associated Press writer Jill Dobson in New York contributed to this report.