NY Fashion Week Spring 2018 Houston
New York Fashion Week

Olympic star flips over designer who's expanding his fashion empire to Houston

Olympic star flips over designer who's opening boutique in Houston

Tadashi Shoji look 25 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji white floral print georgette smocked crop top paired with a matching elastic band sheer illusion skirt. Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shoji
Tadashi Shoji look 5 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji rose quartz stripe print chiffon cold shoulder dress. Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shoji
Tadashi Shoji and Laurie Hernandez
Tadashi Shoji, Laurie Hernandez.T Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shoji
Tadashi Shoji look 18  spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji yellow opal floral print chiffon long sleeve full flounce gown. Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shoji
Tadashi Shoji look 13 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji red jasper textured jacquard draped off-the-shoulder dress with front keyhole detail. Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shoji
Tadashi Shoji look 33 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji black ffloral embroidered lace floor length gown with sheer illusion detail. Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shoji
Tadashi Shoji look 26 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji black floral print georgette off-the-shoulder floor-length gown with sheer illusion elastic band detail. Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shoji
Tadashi Shoji look 25 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji look 5 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji and Laurie Hernandez
Tadashi Shoji look 18  spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji look 13 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji look 33 spring 2018
Tadashi Shoji look 26 spring 2018

Tadashi Shoji is known for outfitting the Hollywood crowd in glam gowns for big events — Hidden Figures star Octavia Spencer is favorite — so it wasn't too surprising that the front row at his New York Fashion Week runway show included a host of television starlets as well as Olympic gymnastics and Dancing With the Stars champion Laurie Hernandez.

For spring/summer 2018, his collection is much less about the red carpet and much more about casual dressing. "Relax and unwind — it's a Golden State of mind," he explains in his program notes.

Shoji, a Japanese designer who splits his time between Los Angeles and Shanghai, where much of his line is produced, developed a laid-back southern California theme for the collection, with dresses in bold gemstone colors, flower prints — one is nicknamed a "Malibu floral" — and stripe-print chiffons with cascading ruffle detail, front slits, or exposed midriffs. Several styles are sheer in strategic places in keeping with one of the season's biggest runway trends.

Looks range from embroidered peasant blouses and flowing floor-length florals with a '70s vibe to tight tea-length column silhouettes with tassel trim. The nice-and-easy attitude of the collection fits in with a more wholesome Miley Cyrus in her song, "Malibu," or a Beach Boys soundtrack, which accompanied the runway show. 

Shoji doesn't show a lot of evening looks, but several gowns that ended the show sport a celestial theme, with the stars and plants aligned on embroidered tulle for an out-of-this-world look.

Shoji plans to open a Houston boutique by the end of the year, located in The Galleria's new wing near Saks Fifth Avenue. It's part of an ambitious expansion plan that includes 18 new boutiques in the Middle East. Already this year, Shoji has added sunglasses, a new fragrance, lingerie and shapewear, and a new bridal collection, and leather handbags — all with available at the new Houston store.