Purple has a regal quality that is neither the coolness of blue nor the passion of red, but an in-between hue of transcending tranquility. Zang Toi harnessed this very character to create an array of evening wear with the color at New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
With a vision of an elegantly clad women strolling through Parisian cobblestone streets, seeking croissants, coffee and cigarettes, his was a romantic collection, predicting that this damsel would land up in her lover’s arms soon.
The collections started off with creams and blacks in the finest of fabrics. There were several cardigans, double breasted outerwear, and trench coats made of silks, linens, lightweight cashmere and a water resistant silk poplin. One model sported a headscarf in the same fabric, making this a weather sensitive collection.
There was also one male mode in a smart cashmere cardigan. Followed by a perfect rawsilk dress with shoulder details that transitioned magically into evening wear.
The inspiration for purple, it turns out, was from the Monet Gardens in Giverny, where Zang Toi fell in love with lavender florets and related hues. The tones transcended into his silks and dresses, with flirtatious curves in dresses that hugged the bodices of models, and were embellished with florets.
The first few mauves, lilacs and purples were for the corporate-meets-party crowds, with a buttonless blazer with an eye-catching fastner, a black micro mini suit with a jeweled purple turtleneck, and oversized kimono style shirts with matching sequin and stone detailing. The hues went from lavender to eggplant, stretching the imaginations as well as the hues.
Romance was literally in the air with silk dresses with hand embroidered sequins, ribbons, and sparkles that literally floated on the runway. From a tricolored cape in hues of purple with jeweled lining, to a black lace and silk dress with a slit that revealed inner dragon prints, to a body hugging eggplant dress with queen-like adornments and jewels at the halter neckline, the pieces were nothing short of stunning. There were handful of silken prints in oriental style floral prints, which held their own spot amidst the opulence.
The ambiance and music both changed as the gowns cascaded down the runway, dripping with gleam and jewels on the heightened shoulders, petite vintage style coats, and on the waist of more modern strapless ballgown dresses. A cleverly disguised bouquet of roses as a shoulder piece was tucked under lilac mesh.
One of the men appeared in a silky black tux, with his leading ladies in disparate takes on the eggplant and lilac jeweled combination: one in a balloon gown with a petite bejeweled quote, and another in a magnificent cape to adorn over her body hugging silk dress. The trio was truly worthy of an ovation, and a grand ballroom party at that.
As part of the invites was an exclusive collaboration with Papyrus, where cards had been designed with Zang Toi’s former designs to send to memorable collectors of an almost forgotten art of writing, alongside an invite to Zang Toi’s own afterparty.
Almost expecting to see chandeliers and fairy tales come to life, the show ended reminding us that inspiration can truly come from any form of nature’s art… and that magic still existed in the interpretation.