Japanese fashion designer Shoji launches collection inspired by Mongol Empire


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Japanese fashion designer, Tadashi Shoji, launched his 2020 Fall/Winter collection in New York on Thursday, in a show inspired by the Mongol Empire.

The U.S.-based designer said the empire – which was founded by Genghis Khan and controlled much of Asia in the 13th and 14th centuries – was a case of East meets West and the first major mingling of the two cultures.

“You cannot define which country; which culture is which,” said Shoji.

The gowns evoked Mongolian warriors, with brightly beaded panels flowing on draped fabric.

Bright, rich colors of blues, reds, browns and blacks were accented with shiny gold and silver and animal print. Sequins provided even more glitter and texture, on velvet-patterned fabrics. Shoulders were puffy and broad, sometimes geometric, sometimes flowery.

Shoji’s design philosophy is to create beauty and comfort for women of all sizes and he says this never interferes with his creativity.

“I am confident that with draping and the cut you can enhance in the right places and camouflage the wrong place. And it makes it beautiful, and comfortable,” said Shoji, adding that being squeezed into tight dresses for the sake of so-called beauty is “torturous.”

Women need to be able to sit, move and dance in comfort, he said.

Shoji’s collection was, as is traditional, the first to show in New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2020.

(This story corrects to remove West meets East in second paragraph)

Reporting by Tara Cleary, Writing by Diane Craft, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien