What is the most beautiful place on Earth? Designer Zang Toi and I clearly agree. His Spring 2016 collection was inspired by the Greek island of Santorini. When I visited the island, I was struck by the blue and white of the architecture being lit by spectacular sunsets.
Zang Toi translated that feeling in the vibrant shades of blue, aqua, white and green in his clothing. He had many of his elegant long silhouettes and capes. In chatting with him backstage, he deliberately stayed away from the cliche "goddess" dresses, togas and gladiator sandals associated with a "Grecian" inspired collection. Instead, he paid tribute to the breezy climate with the feather-light tulle gowns that rippled as the models walked.
Some of the print and embroidery motifs used were a nod to the crochet handicrafts of the island as well as its pottery arts. I love that Zang manages to take his fans away on an exotic escape each season. His daywear looks were accessorized with dramatic hats to strike an image (or protect you from the sun). The shoes of choice were a beaded heels with clear straps, like a post-modern update of the ancient Greek sandal.
While Zang Toi has an entire entourage of Real Housewives devoted to him, the real star in the audience was the legendary Patti Labelle. She was so excited to see him that she leapt up at the finale and practically snatched him off the runway. Very cute. (Even more adorable was the report that she accidentally dropped a tic-tac on the runway and panicked that it would disrupt the show).
Bravo on another beautiful journey Zang Toi!
|all photos by Mariana Leung|