Zang Takes Us On a Delightful Detour to Giverny

Story & Photo By: Lieba Nesis

Jean Shafiroff With Zang Toi

Zang Toi held his fashion show the other day at Pier 59 with a supposed starting time of 7 PM. Anyone who has participated in fashion week knows that most shows begin at least a half hour late and Zang's was no different.

What does differentiate a Zang event is that most of the attendees are in love with the man behind the label and that was readily apparent in the boisterous room. Zang entitled his collection the "Glorious Giverny Garden" and from the minute it began I was transported to the Paris of old- where croissants and couture were the reigning preoccupations. Giverny is a village in the Upper Normandy region of France and it is known as the place where painter Claude Monet lived and worked from 1883 until his death in 1926.

Zang, 55, tapped into this beauty for his collection which featured glorious music and a Parisian laissez faire that permeated the evening. Toi is a renowned Malaysian designer who has been in business for over 27 years opening his first atelier in 1989 after arriving in the United States 35 years ago with just $300 in his pocket. His warm smile and infectious enthusiasm light up every room he walks into and he has a loyal following amongst the elite of Asia.

There were numerous luminaries including Carol Alt, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Cindy Adams, Jamee Gregory, Jean Shafiroff, and Jill Zarin who all came to pay homage to the delightful Zang. The show began with a black trench dress with kimono sleeves and a beige headscarf with black flats. This combination was reiterated in the next couple of looks in beige, black and ivory accompanied by flip flops and flats. It was not until the twelfth look that we were introduced to some color in the form of a lavender skirt suit which was then followed by a black dress with lavender silk pansies bordering the top of the dress. My favorite looks of Zang are the long dramatic coats with floral embroidery on the inside and the hand encrusted gem stones that adorned the model's neck and sleeves-these ensembles were drop dead gorgeous. Moreover, the lilac and violet combinations were beautifully executed especially when combined with a kimono sleeve hand embroidered monet wisteria. Toi closed the 35-piece collection with a lilac shrug which was encrusted with hand-beaded flowers-a magnificently elegant conclusion to a wonderful springlike evening.