Tao, Fall 09

Russian folklore? Mexican wedding dress? Kabuki theater? There are so many references in Tao’s new collection, it’s interesting to hear what the artist’s inspirations really were this season. According to Nicole Phelps of Style.com, “Backstage, the Rei Kawakubo disciple first cited cake decorations, but then revealed it was Eastern Europe that captured her interest. The former explains the frothy silhouettes of her baby-doll dresses, quilted jackets, and dirndl skirts, as well as the ribbonlike prints and embroideries. The latter gave the collection its red, black, and white color palette, the folkloric striped flower prints, and the black velvet bows, as well as the smocking on her pantaloons.”

Tao’s collection had quite a different feel from the rest of Paris’s runways, which were more austere and sadly short on interesting prints. The folkloric references here felt updated and fresh, with the black embroidery turning graphic, and the swirly prints, inky and free. Then, there were the silouettes–giant theatrical bows, baloony skirts and pants, large numbers of little bows sprinkled about to create a festive confetti-like effect. It was all very celebratory, in a futuristic sort of way. Like a wedding party from the year 2212.