Designer Zang Toi had fully intended to join one of his favorite clients — Phoebe Tudor — in the spotlight at the Houston Community College "Passion for Fashion" luncheon at River Oaks Country Club. But the mercurial ways of the commercial airline industry foiled those plans when his flight was canceled.
In his absence, Tudor, recipient of the 2014 HCC Design Society Fashion Icon Award, joined CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh on stage to talk fashion. Wearing a lavender Zang Toi luncheon sheath, the honoree explained that fashion provides an artistic outlet of self-expression. While fashion is important, she noted in earlier remarks that as a "recovering perfectionist," she has learned that the most important things in life are health, family and friends.
She confessed that she simply cannot purge her closet and still has the dress she wore when they became engaged, several decades ago.
There were plenty of friends in the ballroom where Tudor was joined at her table by previous Fashion Icon Award recipient Becca Cason Thrash, Jana Arnoldy, Estela Cockrell, Isabel David, Ceron and Bobby Tudor, the honoree's husband. Phoebe allowed that she frequently consults with Bobby on what to wear when. Also, she confessed that she simply cannot purge her closet and still has the dress she wore when they became engaged, several decades ago.
The luncheon was chaired by Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Mary Ann McKeithan with "Passion for Fashion" founder and chair emeritus Julia Frankel at a front table. Joining the frothy collection of ladies and gents were previous Fashion Icons Diane Lokey Farb and Sheridan Williams.
Adding lush visuals to the day was a Saks Fifth Avenue presentation of several of Toi's rich evening gowns and wraps.
Applauding the HCC fundraiser was a very fashionable flock that included Houston designer Toni Whitaker, Chree Boydston, Kay King, Ursaline Hamilton, Virginia Steppe, Janet Gurwitch, Roz Pactor, Donna Josey Chapman, Judge Clarese Yates, Lucinda Loya, Ericka Bagwell, Jeff Shell, Jerry Ann Woodfin Costa and Victor Costa, Bob Bibb and Don Flowers and Saks Fifth Avenue GM Bobby Dees.
Dees announced that Zang Toi will be in Saks with a trunk show April 24 and 25 and that all were invited to a cocktail party in the designer's honor on April 24.