The Nashville Symphony Wins Again With Zang Toi’s Fall 2021 Collection

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Janice Elliott, Angela Bostelman, Zang Toi, Sarah Reisner, and Sandra Lipman.

Nashville’s LaRawn Scaife Rhea fills us in on the evening:

Nashville is back with the rhythm, and the sounds of music; and fashion has never been sweeter~ That’s what I hear about Nashville these days. After scores of cancelled and rescheduled events, the GRAMMY Award winning Nashville Symphony wins again. Everyone was ready to enjoy an elegant night out with friends.

The large “very pink” Eiffel Tower greets the guests.

The evening was the beneficiary of a stunning fashion show sponsored for the 11th time by the women’s “go-to-for-all-things- fabulous” fashion retailer Gus Mayer of Nashville and Birmingham. Coordinated by Designer Buyer for Gus Mayer, Janice Elliott Morgan, who looked effervescent in her pink silk taffeta sheath dress by this year’s  featured New York designer, Zang Toi.

Angela Bostelman and Sarah Reisner chaired the event. After hosting zoom meetings over many months creating this dream event, they both appeared looking as if they had just stepped off the runway in their Zang Toi designs. Ever gracious Sandra Lipman volunteered once again to serve as the executive chairman and wowed them with her Zang-designed Pop Art Pink taffeta blouse and Pop Art Orange moiré skinny pant.

Guests arriving were in awe of the large “very pink” Eiffel Tower that served as a fun backdrop for selfies. The tables inside the symphony hall were draped in white, with lights beneath the table emitting a soft glow. Florals at each table were set low and long, accentuating color-blocked arrangements showcasing the event’s bold pink, lavender and yellow colors. All of this was wonderfully executed by event designer, Bruce Pittman.

Event designer Bruce Pittman.

Malaysian born, Zang moved to New York when he was just 20 to attend the Parsons School of Design.  In August 1989, he opened his atelier, and soon after, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, featured him in the March 1990 issue. That was it: Toi was one of the first Asian designers championed by Wintour.

Zang has been a Nashville favorite for over two decades and he loves going back to Nashville again and again. For him “it is a love affair that started 28 years ago, and it remains stronger than ever. Not even a pandemic lockdown can stop me from creating a gorgeous collection to share with my gorgeous loyal ladies.” Spoken like the gentleman Zang is.

Zang Toi and Carly Pearce.
Zang Toi and Janice Elliott Morgan.
Sandra Lipman and Zang Toi.

This year’s crowd was smaller than usual due to the times we are still facing, but working alongside HCA staff to keep everyone safe, the show went off without a glitch. The show consisted of an audience of Patrons only, with others viewing the show virtually and sending images of their home parties, or as they say in Paris, “la mode à la maison.”

The “virtual” component was beautifully done. and made it possible for a larger number of fashionables from all over the world to be included in the fantastic show.

Zang’s “Paris, My ❤️ Collection” was inspired “by the gorgeous memories of my many trips to Paris staying at The Ritz, Place Vendome,” he explained. “The runway show features looks in shades of Paris Pink, French Lavender and Marie Antoinette Yellow paired with black, charcoal and grey.”

It was a refreshing for all who were fortunate to be involved in this special night benefitting Nashville’s beloved Symphony and the many educational and community engagement programs they provide each year.

Special musical guests for the night included rising country stars Runaway June, named CMT’s “Next Women of Country,” followed by multi-award winning Carly Pearce who has become “Country’s ‘it’ girl” (ABC Radio), touring alongside Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, and Luke Bryan. They rocked the Symphony Hall with great notes and an engaging performance.

Rising country stars Runaway June.
“Country’s ‘it’ girl” Carly Pearce.

Another highlight was feature performances by students in the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando program, which is designed to prepare gifted young students of diverse ethnic backgrounds to pursue music in college and beyond. This nationally recognized initiative rewards dedicated music students in grades 5-11 with opportunities to pursue their dreams.

It was all very top drawer.

Runaway June’s Natalie Stovall, Naomi Cooke, and Jennifer Wayne.
Carolyn Taylor, Louise Bryan, and Rowena Cuffe.
Laura Niewold and Lisa Manning.
Carrie Hart, Dee Patel, and James Gregg.
Melissa Mahanes, Emily Noel, Sandra Lipman, and Laurie Eskind.
L. to r.: Emily Noel and Laurie Eskind; Ashley Rosen and Barbara Burns.
Lydia Howarth, Jennie Smith, Dana Sherrard, Martha Ingram, Tooty Bradford, and Clare Armistead.
L. to r.: Noelle Daugherty and Nancy Peacock; Janice Elliott Morgan and Clare Armistead.
Isabella Kendall, Patricia Thacker, Katie Crumbo, and Carolyn Kendall.
L. to r.: Ashley Herring and Vicki Horne; Jay Joyner and Donna Joyner.
Mike Duffer, Sandra Ramirez, Deanna Pizitz and Jeff Pizitz.
Selina Pepper, Ross Pepper, Sissy Simmons, and Sarah Gardner.
Blake Mayes, Babs Stewart, Kimberly Pace, and Tracey Power.
Barbara Bovender, Annette Eskind, and Nan Parrish.
Diane Holloway, Karen Moore, and Shannon Barton.
Janice Elliott Morgan, Zang Toi, Nancy Peacock, and Jana Davis.
Jana Davis, Zang Toi, and Janice Elliott Morgan.
L. to r.: Nichole Huseby and Viviana Lavin; Zang Toi and Laurie Seabury.
Zang Toi with Emily and Mark Humphreys.

Photos: Alan Poizner & Kathy Thomas.

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