Market Watch: Tadashi Shoji

Tadashi Shoji Spring 2012

One of the great (and exhausting) things about my schedule is that just when the runway shows end, Market begins. All those amazing collections I unfortunately missed due to schedule conflicts I can now see up close and in person. Not a bad gig, right?

So, I headed off to Tadashi Shoji, who makes the loveliest cocktail dresses and gowns. For spring, Shoji was inspired by tulips, and you can see that by the hand-painted work on the dresses. They're stunning, and the showroom felt like springtime. Granted the unseasonably warm day helped.

Naturally, I was drawn to a black lace number. Just because it feels like spring, doesn't mean I have to dress like it.

Now, I know what you're thinking: Great! Gorgeous things I can't afford. Ahh, but you can. Shoji's dresses retail for around $500; his new bridal pieces, which made even this single girl pause for a moment, clock in around $1,400. Affordable and the sort of gowns you'll have in your closet for years to come.

Spring lands in stores starting January.

Photos: Offerings from Tadashi Shoji's Spring 2012 collection