This collection is as luxe as it gets: Zang Toi has moved into the Herrera/De La Renta domain with designs fit for a queen whether she reigns over a sovereign state or a Co-Op board.
Inspired by his recent move uptown to Manhattan's posh Upper East Side, Toi's Fall 2006 runway presentation was a decadent display of modern luxury. Observation of the gilded salons of Park Avenue palaces, the dinner parties at Fifth Avenue pied a terres and the afternoon promenades up Madison Avenue, prompted the creative departure from the collections he has sent down the runway in the past.
Zang Toi's uptown woman is a glamour-puss whose time is filled with extended cocktail hours, witty banter on columned terraces and sumptuous galas nightly. She is a woman for whom all that glitters isn't just gold...it's platinum.
Accordingly, Toi has created looks for fall 2006 with a focus on social attire. His ageless designs included cocktail-ready pantsuits, dinner party dresses and gala-ready gowns. Fluid high-waisted trousers were paired with crisp, white blouses and sleek cashmere sweaters. Tweeds were given a feminine twist, cut into cocktail-style dresses in principessa pastels, and adorned with dazzling details, like brooches and glittering straps.
Voluminous furs were cut to maximize volume and movement, without overpowering the silhouette of the wearer or the clothing underneath, while pantsuit blazers were cut to asymmetrical perfection and trimmed in fur. The piece de resistance, however, was an ebony evening gown, dripping in glittering chains that hung from neck to waist.
Malaysian-born Toi's collections are known for their tropical references and use of color, particularly his work with vibrant tones. This collection is notable for its muted palate, though the care taken to select these shades was obviously immense. The color of each garment was closely attuned to the structure of each piece, the shades Toi focused on (much like the clothes shown) were dominantly urbane or delicate. The blacks were inky midnight, the charcoals ash, the whites glacial, the pinks spun sugar and the purples, perfectly lilac.
In perfect keeping with the classically beautiful clothing, the lighting of the show was soft and rich, bathing the catwalk in a glow that gave the runway presentation the appearance of a moving painting, of living art. The aural accompaniment was a classical composition that further contributed to the tableaux vivant aura.
As beautiful as Zang Toi's Fall 2006 runway presentation was, it remains to be seen if his existing clientele will embrace the change in his design direction and if he can reach the new customer who now serves as his muse. I hope they do and I hope he does.
Photos courtesy nymag.com