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We love Tadashi Shoji because he makes evening gowns that flatter real women—even petites and larger sizes. But aside from color and fabric differences, we never expect to see dramatic changes in his styles from season to season. Well, the designer surprised us with his Fall 2012 collection. It had a different look. Tadashi said it was inspired by, "The Golden Age of Shanghai," but we also saw what seemed to be a strong influence from the PBS show Downtown Abbey. Elements of many of the gowns reminded us of the beautiful early 20th Century designs that we covet each episode.
By Downton Abbey, we mean the chic gowns of Lady Mary Crawley and Cora, Countess of Grantham, not the stuffier ones of our beloved Dowager Countess or those of the dowdy downstairs staff. The collection's vintage looks included dropped waists, tea length dresses, blousons, handkerchief hems, lace bodices, rich washed velvets and chiffons. Colors included beautiful jewel tones, as well as more neutral hues. The entire collection was stunning, probably our favorite Tadashi one yet. But it made us wonder, if The Downton Abbey Effect had an impact on Tadashi Shoji, what other designers' shows might we see it pop up in this week?