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Greek Goddess: Zang Toi SS 2016

Close your eyes. Imagine you’re standing on a Greek island. The smell of herbs and citrus around you, wind blowing your clothes against your body. Before you stretches the Aegean, striped with metallic green, luminous turquoise and impenetrable, iridescent cobalt. Behind you, stacked up and down the steep hillsides, are white houses, flat-topped and connected by steps, steps everywhere. Zang Toi translated this image into an easy-wear, clean-silhouetted SS 2016 collection.

Each daytime look featured a woven white hat the size of a wagon wheel, with a brim. The kind of hat an Agatha Christie heroine might have worn in Triangle at Rhodes. The kind of hat that frames every woman’s face like a starlet. A perfect hat for Santorini’s black sand beaches of Vlychada, Monolithos or Perivolos, or the gray sand beaches of Kantharos, or the red sand of, well, “Red Beach.”

The collection featured everything from après-beach wear to an informal but lovely wedding dress. Suits for men and women, sportswear from dressy to super casual, every degree of dressed up, Zang Toi covered them all. Lines defined the stark white suits, with tailoring and creases as sharp as any Cycladic house. Longer jackets with no lapels, or slightly detailed lapels and cutaway waists

were the look for men and women. The white theme continued in fitted mini-skirts paired with voluminous sleeved semi-sheer blouses outlined in delicate details of traditional Greek embroidery. These blouses and bottoms also came in black, modestly camisoled, just a hint of embroidery a refreshing form of sexy. Color-blocked sweater mini-dresses with stoles, color-blocked kaftan-esque dresses and deeply scooped tank dresses would help any Greek goddess transition from day to evening.

Screen-printed, oversized blue and green doilies used as patch pockets and ornaments seemed (to me) the only misstep in this elegant collection.

Toi delivered drama in the trains. Full-length dresses, casual enough for dinner on the yacht, with easy-fitted bodices, were trailed by attached capes of color blocking – with or without sequins. Black and shimmering green, turquoise and azure, black and white combinations enlivened the simple shape. Fitted bodices with mesh skirts flowed over mini-shorts, making a few strapless evening gowns perfect for dinner outside, despite evening breezes.

So whether you’re going to the Greek islands and need a color-coordinated capsule wardrobe for sun and sea, or are staying stateside and just dreaming of it, Zang Toi’s SS 2016 collection is a flowing and vivid homage.

(And everyone needs the hat!)

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