Damn if Zang Toi didn't send Fortuny pleated evening gowns down the runway to opera music and give me chills. This season was a stroke of brilliance for the Malyasian-born designer who has a devoted and adoring fan base and a reputation for technical chops and elegant designs. His clothes leave no one in doubt that Zang Toi knows and adores his clientele right back.
First the designer sent a group of classic separates down the runway, perfect in cut and form: beautiful sweater sets, impeccable leather skirts, and gorgeous pantsuits in shades of taupe and black. Lovely, but no chills yet. I was just beginning to think "ho-hum" when the lights dimmed and the opera music soared. Soon came the Fortuny pleats, inspired by the theme of his show "Mystique Beauty of Venice." Yes, the opera cape was show-stopping magnificent with its hand-beaded nightscape of Venice, but the beauty of Zang Toi's pleated gowns, and the perfect simplicity of the taupe and black palette (and that absolutely stunning empire waist gown) was what left the most lasting impression on me.
Bravo, Zang Toi.