02/07/2013 05:35 EST | Updated 04/09/2013 05:12 EDT

Tadashi Shoji doesn't hold anything back for his snow princess at New York Fashion Week

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The ice princess touched down on the Tadashi Shoji runway Thursday with a digital dappling of snowflakes behind her.

She was dressed in high-neck washed keyhole gowns decorated in lace, then made a quick change into a white neoprene capelet with navy metallic lace and a flouncy white-and-navy gown underneath.

A red tulle-and-lace gown with black beaded cutouts also seemed special and likely will be a standout during eight days of seasonal previews at New York Fashion Week.

The look was "exiled nobility" all the way, Shoji explained in his notes left for editors, retailers and stylists. He said he was "inspired by the splendor of the Russian Empire and the eventual fall of imperial rule."

Fabrics were heavy and embellishments rich.

The theme took his muse from St. Petersburg, Russia, where she'd wear the long, loose dresses with cascading backs and blousoned waists, to Siberia and nods to more peasant styles, including pouffy sleeves and pleated skirts.

Some of the looks seemed a little costumey, but the opulence worked for the black-tie show-stoppers and an ivory gown with a pearl-encrusted bodice that would be an out-of-the-box — and fabulous — choice for a super-luxe winter wedding.


Follow Samantha Critchell on Twitter at