From the moment Tadashi Shoji’s first look turned the corner and the lights went up- revealing a tattoo-printed body suit with a wrap-around skirt- it was apparent that the Japanese designer chose an edgier direction for Fall/Winter 2016. A lot edgier. He cited an atelier turned tattoo parlor and tribal elements as inspiration, making for a collection that tried to capture the attention of a younger audience. Gone are the days of delicate gowns in feminine hues and prim, a-line cocktail dresses- the new Tadashi Shoji girl has taken a gothic turn; she combines elements from the street along with ones from high-end, and owns it. Although the first look was a bit forced, it made way for others that incorporated the tattooed mesh in a much more desirable way. It felt fresher, for example, peeking out from the neck of a streamlined jumpsuit or curving the body in high-slit shift. The show then lost its direction entirely- jumping from aztec warrior, to boudoir lingerie, to 80’s glam-punk. Some ensembles stuck out amongst the headache and gave us a glimpse into what Shoji was going for. A pair of black-and-white embroidered ensembles, one a halter-top mini dress, the other a gown with a plunging neckline, were less dense and dreary than the rest of the collection and defied the stigma of maturity that comes with the label. Also, lacy evening wear in a gothic color palette of maroon and black combined Shoji’s elegant aesthetic with his moody inspiration; this dichotomy was especially enticing in a strapless, high-low gown that packed a dramatic punch. These, and the finale looks proved the designer’s target client is still echoed in his creations. She may have traded femme fleur for femme fatale, but she’s still there.