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Tadashi Shoji pays homage to old Venice in royal lace and powerful chain mesh

Fashion from Tadashi Shoji Spring 2015 collection is modeled during Fashion Week on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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Fashion from Tadashi Shoji Spring 2015 collection is modeled during Fashion Week on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Tadashi Shoji on Thursday paid homage to 15th-century Venice and the Grand Canal at sunset as it reflects the famous Ca' d'Oro palace in a collection of spring skirts, cocktail dresses and caped gowns that mixed lace with chain-mesh insets.

"It's the juxtaposition of power and the feminine," the kind-faced Shoji said backstage after his show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center tents.

Shoji is a history buff who has read a lot about old Venice. His royal golds, stately ivory and blush roses were nods to the gilt of the palace also known as the "golden house," and the soft light of sunset, he said.

For some looks, he stayed true to his roots in silhouettes that would work for many shapes and sizes.

"Any dress or clothes, most important is comfort," he said. "You pay $10,000, $20,000 for clothes and you can't move, you can't dance, you can't breathe. That doesn't make any sense. I want to make a very comfortable cocktail evening dress. That's my motto."

Shoji included open chain mesh at the waist and cleavage, paired with silver and gold metallic embroidery.

Other peekaboo moments were created with insets of sheer tulle.

But it was the lace that dominated in his all-over use at a range of hemlines from above-the-knee to the floor.

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Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie

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