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Showroom Shopping and Hopping

    A couple of rainy days in NYC forced me to stick with inside activities, but I can’t complain when visiting Zang Toi’s and Brioni’s showrooms were involved.

    Brioni's showroom

    Zang’s Fall 2010 Collection is exquisite and he was more than happy to serve Wendy Brandes and me tea and let us “go to town” trying on all kinds of amazing dresses. We were seriously like kids in a candy store – a very sophisticated and expensive candy store.

    a look from Zang's fall 2010 collection

    Jewelry diva WendyB had to see Zang for a fitting on a sexy little chartreuse number with black sequins and tassels. After the adjustments were made, we started pulling pieces off the racks and squeezing ourselves into the built-in corset gowns. Toi’s dresses are so feminine and flattering; they make you feel instantly gorgeous.

    suede skirt with latticework overlay - I decided to forgo the fox!

    Toi has such a great eye for how to make pretty clothes. He knows exactly how to make his clients (whatever size) look good. One of my favorite pieces in the collection was a black and iris color, simple sheath dress that has the most beautiful shape. The fabric is actually made with a gradual transition in color from black to iris, thus creating a wide stripe effect. Toi cleverly and strategically placed the wide black band across the midsection. Thoughtful design ideas like this separate Zang Toi from others.

    a look from Zang Toi's fall 2010 collection

    Toi repeated the concept of the band across the waist in an iris color silk floor length gown with tiny black sequins and round beads applied to the center portion of the dress. Stunning. Zang certainly is the king of evening glamour and his gowns are favorites on the red carpet, but the brilliant designer can also do ready-to-wear as good as anyone. His luxurious ¾ sleeve peacoat and cute little black mini with his elaborate embroidered logo give Michael Kors something to worry about.

    model from Zang Toi's fall 2010 collection (left) and glamorous WendyB in the same piece (right)

    The following day, Wendy and I headed to Rockefeller Center to meet with Heather Shimokawa and Kristin Isham at Brioni. Again, I found myself drooling, wanting, longing. I have always loved the sexy sophistication that Brioni oozes and being able to go through each piece in the collection was heaven.

    Kristin (Director of Sales) and Heather (Director of P.R.)

    me in a tight fitting Brioni sample

    Brioni has a reputation for quality, both in fabric and make. Seeing the clothes up close, being able to examine every stitch and every detail was really a treat. Obviously, Brioni makes a perfectly tailored jacket, but their body conscious dresses are flying off the racks – like the sleek, pencil skirty tank dress in black leather. So sexy it’s a crime. As a designer myself, I can’t help but notice the little details like the leather covered shoulder pads perfectly placed and neatly hidden below the wide shoulder straps of the tank dress.

    Brioni leather dress

    The luxurious fabrics and the attention to detail really make Brioni special. Pick stitching accents the complex seaming of a dress, deconstructed jackets never look messy, raw edges still look clean with very narrow rows of double stitching along the edges, linings have “Brioni” in jacquard across the back, mink fully lines an anorak, sweater yarns are so light and soft that you’d want to sleep in them and double-faced cashmere provides its own lining with the contrasting color on the back of the goods.

    Brioni jacquard lined jacket (top) and double-faced wool unlined jacket (bottom)

    Heather was so incredibly sweet (and she made me a dee-lish espresso). She walked us through the line and let us try on the showroom samples and snap pictures like two spoiled brats. She didn’t even mind when I pretended to be an elephant with their 6 ft. long, grey suede “scrunch gloves!” Yes, on top of all the beautiful clothes, Brioni has some insane (in a good way) gloves that would make any outfit look incredible. I tried on several pairs including the Mongolian fur gloves and the ultra long gloves that are meant to be scrunched up the entire arm. They may not be the quickest or easiest accessory to put on, but they look amazing!!
    Brioni Mongolian fur gloves (left) and grey suede "scrunch" gloves (right)
    What a great couple of days in NYC. What an incredible city in which I live!!