NYFW S/S’14 – Zang Toi: the elegance of ballet; the intrigue of darkness
Ballet is where Zang Toi gets influence for his new collection for spring/summer 2014. Forget about bright colours or wild prints, instead the Malaysian-born designer offers upscale clothing with uncompromisable tailoring, ultra-luxurious fabrics and a touch of darkness. We couldn’t help but make comparison with Aronofski’s flick Black Swan, especially when there is featured a navy silk gazar “Black Swan” ballgown, sprinkled with black blossoms.
“Ballet Babe” was presented on Tuesday evening at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s usual location at Lincoln Center. The show was opened by a short, but impressive performance by American Ballet Theater’s principle dancer (and model) Cory Stearns, who’s also the muse behind the collection. Afterwards, 30 looks introduced the designer’s vision for next season. The colours are sophisticated and subtle – black, ballet pink, spring blue and navy create a palette pleasing the eye. The materials are generously luxurious and include silk jersey, silk gazar, cotton twill and hand-loomed cashmere, decorated with sequins and textile flowers.
Along with the dresses that we see most likely worn on red carpets, we were impressed by the beautifully tailored suits, cashmere and silk tunics and sculpted coats. One of our favorites is the combination of black sunburst pleated tulled ballerina gown with a short light blue cashmere sweater, as well as a navy silk and wool blazer with matching trousers.
Surprisingly, there were two male looks presented as well – men’s black silk peak lapel suit with a balmacaan and light blue silk gazar scarf and the “grand finale”, navy silk and wool worn with ballet tights.
On the front row we noticed Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether, Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady, Real Housewives of NYC cast members Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn de Lesseps and Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Kathy Wakile.
Born in a small village in Malaysia, Zang Toi could be studied as an example of “The American dream”. At the age of 20 he moved to New York, studied fashion in Parsons School of Design and in August 1989 opened his atelier “House of Toi”. Soon after he was featured in March 1990’s edition of Vogue USA, and was awarded with the Mouton Cadet Young Designer of The Year award.
The clothes he creates are all handmade in New York City and were worn by celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Farrah Fawcett, Kristie Alley, Patti LaBelle, Gong Li, Eva Longoria, Fergie from Black Eyed Peas and Heather Graham.
Photos: Bogdan Seredyak
House of Toi is located in Midtown Manhattan at 18 East 48th Street Suite. The online shoppers can find some of his classics here. Blazers range around $1,500, but long-sleeve branded T-shirts are available for $38 as a much more affordable option.