New York, NY – February 13, 2018: Models walk runway for Zang Toi Autumn/Winter collection at New York Fashion Week at Pier 59 (Photo: Lev Radin/Gildshire)
Rome! The very name of the city evokes grace, charm, an awesome sense of history, and inspiration. For centuries Rome was the worldwide center of culture and politics. It inspired the likes of Michaelangelo, James Joyce, and William Shakespeare. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn fell in, out of, and back into love while on Roman Holiday. Even today, young lovers fill the Trevi Fountain with coins, in hopes the magic of the city will live with them always. Is it any wonder that a trip to Rome inspired Zang Toi and his latest collection? New York Fashion Week is over, but Zang Toi’s show that helped close the curtain on this iteration of NYFW, drew from his time in Italy. It was a show for the ages, well-worthy of The Eternal City! Gildshire’s Lev Radin was on the scene with photographic evidence of the show highlights and the vibe therein.
Let’s begin with something important, or the Gods of Italian fashion will not be appeased. A show with Roman influence will, by necessity, honor the fashion legend Valentino. Since Valentino means Valentine and Valentines mean hearts a red piece is essential. Mr. Toi came through like a boss! A one-shoulder, silk ottoman frock with a side slit that showed a small hint of a pink lining. Bravissimo!
The red piece works as haute couture, but it also worked in this show to set a contrast with the rest of the 2018 fall collection. Toi’s spring/summer work, displayed last fall, was dazzling in its use of emerald green silk. Indeed the luncheon guests at the world’s fabulous luncheon spots will be adorned in what is being described as “Toi Green.”
By contrast, the fall collection takes a hard turn away from the spring/summer line. Instead of the greens that evoke the last flashes of the sun as it sets in the Aegean Sea, the 2018 fall RTW productions out of the Zang Toi house are mostly grayscale. They range from stunning gray to classic charcoal, with only bare hints of orange, and vibrant pink. Not only was the contrast from the most-recent Zang Toi NYFW show an eye-catcher, so too was the contrast from other shows. Most notably the show put on by The Blonds, covered yesterday by Lev Radin and Gildshire’s Fashion and Beauty Magazine. Top designers know that beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder but in the color palette given to the eye.
What garment sets found focus in this Zang Toi show? Glad you asked. Toi focused on elegant palazzo pants and tailored coats, along with cashmere and wool sweater dresses, tops and skirts. In a move some may see as daring, Zang Toi even incorporated fur into the lineup, all in grayscale, and all a delight to the assembled masses.
If we had to name one piece of fur that was the singular show-stopper we would have to note the floor-length mink coat. Modern and lovely, it evoked an elegance from days gone by. It is the warm garment that would turn heads on Rome’s Via Del Corso. A simply beautiful piece, meant for the fashion forward individual who also knows her/his history.
What were the fun and frolic-y pieces presented by the genius Toi? Zang Toi brought florals to bear as embroideries, as a print on a suit set, and on large flower crowns. These crowns, though, weren’t daytime fluff. Instead, they paired with evening looks in a way not often seen! It was quite a touch.
A show such as this one needed to go out on an impressive note, as if the rest of it wasn’t impressive enough. However, Zang Toi had an ace up his sleeve. A mini dress with a skirt of hand-appliquéd silk flowers titled, “Portrait of Haute Roman Princess,” fittingly closed the show.
Post-show Mr. Toi made some additional news. Observers noticed all of his items were worn with an accompaniment of Twila Fine Jewelry. He teased a potential for a Spring 2019 licensing deal with the company.
New York Fashion Week for the fall 2018 season was a whirlwind, just as every NYFW seems to be. It’s been our pleasure to cover it, and our particular pleasure to finish with Zang Toi’s great show. We will see you again, and before you know it. The next NYFW is only a few months away. Until then, dress for success, of course, but dress for style just because.