Tadashi Shoji picks sparkly metallics at virtual New York fashion week

FILE PHOTO: Designer Tadashi Shoji appears after the showing of his collection during New York Fashion Week in New York
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tadashi Shoji looked to armor-inspired metallics and embellishments for his autumn/winter 2021 designs on Sunday, presenting an array of shiny elaborate dresses on the first day of a virtual New York Fashion Week.

In a pre-recorded video, the American designer, known for his evening gowns, unveiled silhouette-hugging frocks adorned with fringed sleeves, puffed shoulders, paillettes or lace detailing.

Models stood against a fire-lit sky and on top of a pile of old furniture - including a piano, chandelier and bed frame - in the video, with smoke sometime billowing from underneath.

With COVID-19 restrictions cancelling the usual bustling catwalk shows, designers have had to rethink how they present collections.

The Feb. 14-18 New York Fashion Week: The Shows is a mainly virtual event, with most brands sharing videos of their latest designs and only very few hosting socially distanced live presentations.

"The past year has challenged us in ways we could never have imagined. No one has escaped unaffected. We yearn for security. We are forced to summon our strength every day," Shoji said in show notes.

"This season, I wanted to design pieces that inspire a sense of protection, a collection that reflects our strength - a strength so palpable you could rap your knuckles on it, and it would sound like steel."

There were velvet dresses adorned in floral designs, as well as a black trouser suit and velvet jumpsuit.

Evening gowns were draped, had sparkly embellishments or came off the shoulder. There was also a small selection of jacquard ball gowns.

Shoji choose a mainly bronze, dark brown, red, orange, steel and midnight blue palette.

Other designers unveiling their designs at New York Fashion Week include Badgley Mischka, The Blonds and Jason Wu.

(Reporting by Alicia Powell and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Richard Chang)