The wild west was one with the elegant east last Wednesday night at Zang Toi’s “Giant” 9 PM show at Lincoln Center. From the opening appearance of a shirtless cowboy in tight black pants to the galvanizing strains of Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)”, he had the audience in his back pocket. (He being Zang Toi and not the model, because there certainly wasn’t room for anything in the back pocket of those low riding, fringed pants!) And hearts began to gallop apace (spurred on by this fiery steed) during this tribute to the Oscar winning (best director, George Stevens) Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean Texas tale on celluloid.
But, that was just the beginning. Pairing the blackest blacks with the whitest whites, princess pink or gleaming denim blue – with some floral explosions thrown in, his designs drew a number of gasps, as well as spontaneous applause, and in the end, a standing ovation. This was classic, timeless clothing with a twist. Nothing that individually has never been seen before, but oh, my – crafted together in the way they were…impeccably tailored, unmistakably upscale, this is attire worthy of kickin’ up some dust in.
Corraled with the sleek black and white drresses and suits, were Cinderella gowns that floated down the runway like tumbleweed caught on a gentle prairie breeze. One, a confection of gossamer pink blossoms, another, a floral print mirage and yet another, a striking, tantalizingly revealing black sheath with a dramatic black overcoat rimmed with a blanket of pink buds.
When not sporting a bad-boy black cowboy hat (with a touch of Texas twinkle, of course), the models’ hair was sumptuously coifed in the full waves of the fifties. Like Liz looked like on the cover of LIFE.
Riding a selective, refined range, this rodeo of female form appreciation was not only fun and a feast for the senses (nothing like a man in a smooth white dinner jacket), but also on the fringe of genius. The next Zang Toi show? Wild horses shouldn’t keep you away.