Zang Toi’s Spring 2008 Collection

Spring Time In The Garden
By MICHELE LIAN
18/11/2007

Zang Toi’s Spring offerings alternated between flowing and fitted silhouettes that were unmistakeably Oriental, thanks to the intricate chinoiserie designs. Nothing embodies the spirit of Zang Toi better than a fashion show disguised as a lavish afternoon tea party.  The Kelantan-born, New York-based fashion designer appears to be the master of all things chic, and the preview of his Spring 2008 collection that he hosted last week was no exception. In true Zang Toi fashion, his West 57th Street Café at Parkson Pavilion Kuala Lumpur was transformed into a charming spring party setting, bearing strong hints of his penchant for extravagant décor. This time around, journalists, customers, friends and family found themselves in the midst of colourful peonies, and feted with a live string quartet and plenty of bubbly while waiting for the show to begin.

Silk taffeta coat with mink border and pleated petticoats worn over matching floor length gown.
Photos by KEVIN TAN / The Star

Seated in the front row were Zang’s guests of honour: his mother, dressed in Zang’s signature look for this season – an English yellow qi bao embellished with hand-painted peonies – and his father sporting a matching shirt. As music from the quartet faded, models came gliding out serenely, stepping in tune to lilting, traditional Chinese music. On their faces were soft pastel pinks, greens, yellows and neutrals that gave them a subtle, translucent glow to the skin, and upper lids that were heavily lined. In contrast to the minimalist makeup, each had their hair piled up with ornate hairpieces and turned into gravity-defying buns, reminiscent of those worn by 19th century French courtesans, and dotted with ornamental butterflies.  Nevertheless, it was the clothes that transformed them into otherworldly, ethereal beings.

de Gournay hand painted long kimono coat with matching high-waisted seamless trousers.

Themed Chinoiserie Garden, Zang’s Spring offerings alternated between flowing and fitted silhouettes that were unmistakeably Oriental, thanks to the intricate designs by de Gournay (a company that specialises in 18th century chinoiserie and 19th century French designs), with touches of European decadence. First on the runway was a sinewy, English yellow strapless gown with hand painted peonies, followed by a kimono coat and matching trousers with similar motifs and colour. This graduated to skirts, jackets, short, trousers, dresses and more gowns in pastel shades of ebony, ivory, cream, pink and red. These were accented by touches of mink cashmere, satin bows, ribbon darts, floral prints, pleats and silver beaded lovebird motifs. The delicately crafted lovebirds on an understated, black shantung silk sheath was not only a stunning reminder of Zang’s immaculate craftsmanship, but also a mirror of the palette dominating the interior his new apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East side. Decorated as a tribute to French Queen Marie Antoinette, Zang’s living space is now a minimalist combination of high gloss white walls, glossy back enamel parquet floors, and neoclassical furniture upholstered in charcoal mink-trimmed cashmere.

Zang Toi with his dad, Toi Han Eng, and his mum, Foo Chin Chik, who celebrated her 80th birthday at his Spring 2008 fashion preview.

This new design credo of his was translated to simplicity on the runway for the most part, but it was obvious that Zang had saved the most elaborate pieces for last. Out came a statuesque red silk organza and silk taffeta strapless ball gown with peonies and pleated petticoats; sensuous pink organza bustier slip coupled with a silk taffeta diva skirt with a back panel and fox mini shrug; a pink silk taffeta coat with mink border and pleated petticoats over a matching gown; and English yellow silk taffeta evening shirt with a grand ball skirt and pleated back. But as the preview drew to a close and Zang took his bow, he gave his guests another reason to celebrate: it was also his mother’s 80th birthday. While flitting about the crowd to attend to his guests and beaming parents, it became clear that Zang was in his element – celebrating, and being inspired by, life.

p/s:- credit to TheStar Online

1 Comment

  1. Gabrielle said,

    April 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Hi I’m a ph.d student in fashion art. I study at University of California-San Diego. I’m doing some reserach on Chinoiserie garden and was just browsing on the internet. I plan to write my dissertation on fashioning chinoiserie. I probably will take Zhang Toi’s Chinoserie garden design as one of the topic of my reserach paper. I am just wondering if you know Zang Toi or if you’ve participated this fashion show. Do you know if he has other recent works in chinoiserie design? or if any other fashion designers have worked on the theme of chinoiserie? Thanks. I also have my personal blog.
    http://gabriellechang.wordpress.com/


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