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Fashion drama: Zang Toi's new looks evoke Hollywood glamour and wearing of the green

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Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi brilliant green silk taffeta empress gown with hand-beaded art deco choker. Photo by Eka Halim
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection n
Zang Toi brilliant jade and diamond art deco necklace worn with black silk velvet strapless gown and brilliant jade Saga royal fox stole. Photo by Eka Halim
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi Loro Piana cashmere glen plaid 1930s gangster trouser suit worn with silver fox stole. Photo by Eka Halim
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi black silk gazar empress coat with hand-beaded brilliant jade art deco skyline lining and black silk gazar column gown with brilliant jade art deco choker. Photo by Eka Halim
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Designer Zang Toi with model in black beaded art deco lace strapless cocktail dress — and green wig. Photo by Eka Halim
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi Loro Piana cashmere tweed mini-cape with black mink upturned lapel, A-line dress with cashmere and silk attached turtleneck. Photo by Eka Halim
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi diamond and onyx art deco starburst brilliant jade capelet stole worn with black silk gazar A-line gown. Photo by Eka Halim
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi mini tunic dress with brilliant jade facing. Photo by Eka Halim
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection n
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection
Zang Toi fall 2014 collection

NEW YORK — Zang Toi has a flair for the dramatic. So it's not surprising the Malaysian-born designer combined old Hollywood glamour with a film noir attitude in his latest collection, which evokes a mysterious "Shanghai in the 1930s" theme.

“It’s very glamorous, very decadent, which is right up my alley,” he told reporters backstage after his show.

 "Zang knows his clients very well and he can remember what each and single one of them bought 20 years ago!" 

He opened with several crisply tailored ensembles in a light gray glen plaid Loro Piana cashmere fabric, ranging from a "gangster" trouser suit worn with a silver fox stole to a A-line dress with matching cape trimmed in mink. But it was his closing numbers that had the audience gasping with a series of eye-popping gowns in black and a green color he calls  “Brilliant Jade."

Models made a dramatic entrance in a jade gown accented with a hand beaded choker or a black gown with a jade capelet trimmed in a diamond and onyx art decor starbust pattern or a full-length black cape with a green lining etched with a hand-beaded skyline.

Toi was dressed for the occasion, too, in a black tux, white bow tie and white flower in his lapel. The model who accompanied him during his runway bow wore a black beaded cocktail dress — and green hair.

Toi is making two Houston visits. On Wednesday (March 12) he is the featured designer at the Passion for Fashion Luncheon at River Oaks Country Club, where he will show six looks from his fall 2013 collection and take part in a Q&A with yours truly.

He will be back on April 24 and 25 to showcase the fall 2014 collection (featured in this article) at Saks Fifth Avenue. Unlike many designers nowadays, Toi attends every trunk show to work closely with his customers. "He is following in the footsteps of the legendary Bill Blass," his press representative tells CultureMap.  "Zang knows his clients very well and he can remember what each and single one of them bought 20 years ago!"

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