Friday, 30 September 2011

Italian Flair

Rolando Santana
One of the most classic and romantic looks this season, Spring 2012 is inspired by the Rolando Santana love of white, gold and hints of olive green.

The Looks

Cuernavaca, Mexico-born Rolando Santana loves making all women feel beautiful in his designs. This young and confident fashion designer managed to start his own fashion label in 2009 after several years of designing for well-known dress companies.

Santana’s love of fashion started back in his childhood days, when he would watch his mother make creations for special clients and could easily get lost in fabric stores while enjoying all the colours and textures. He now designs inspiration from around the world, whether it is the sunsets or lights of a country or the strong influences of a person.

Santana’s latest collection sees a gentle merge of neutral colours, twill prints and shimmery sequins. They come together pleasantly on the softest of materials, like chiffon and silk. It’s a romantic spring collection bringing us to the beautiful city of Florence and showing evidence of his love for the city in his overall presentation. 

This collection exudes every curve and charm of an Italian glamour with ruffled collars, necklines and bodices go with the collection. Main shades include shimmery metallic, rich golden alabaster, elegant white and sage green. Each piece evokes memories of the historic and contemporary city feel of Florence.

For the first time ever, the collaborative shoe designs with Manalo Blahnik was also made debut on the runway at his spring 2012 fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Exit Art this year on September 14, 2011. The collaboration was an added complement to finish the looks of the Italian flair.

Truth to be told, Santana did not show an exceptional collection this season, but what distinguishes him from his peers is an innate understanding of the female form. Santana is able to redefine the feminine silhouette to make it current, but classic at the same time.

One can lounge after a long day of work on a simple, yet playful Santana outfit that accentuates feminine flair making one looking like an Italian woman, or it is simply perfect for women, with looks fitting for work.

Before the great success of spring 2012 collection, Santana created his fall winter 2011 collection inspired by the paintings of Philip Guston, with darkness as the theme, but soft to the eyes. To pay homage to the notable painter, the collection included wool jersey and wool gauze that were deep in colour and rich in texture. 

Click here to watch the video - Rolando Santana Spring 2012 Collection

Picture Courtesy of Eka Halim
Video Courtesy of KENTONvideo
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Friday, 23 September 2011

When Passion is Fashion by

Fashion means a woman has her own style and grace and she does not follow fashion trend blindly. She is always chic and never a fashion victim.” – Zang Toi, International Fashion Designer

Zang Toi

Zang Toi was born and raised in a small village in Kelantan, the youngest of seven children of a grocer.  After leaving Malaysia at the age of eighteen, Zang arrived in New York and at the age of 20, began his studies at Parsons School of Design.  In August 1989, he opened his atelier and soon after, Zang was awarded the 1990 Mouton Cadet Young Designer of the Year award which recognizes the top, young U.S. designer of the year.  

Zang's office table surrounded by books

I am a world traveller but my favourite city in the world is Paris. It never fails to inspire me with its culture, food, design and everything else.”

Working hard for the show
Since then, Zang has captured the attention of the world’s fashion elite and continues to be characterized by his precocious aptitude and astute business acumen.  After making his designs available in Malaysia in 1996 through his specialty dress shop in Lot 10 Shopping Centre, in 2004 and 2005, Zang further expanded his operation with a Zang Toi CafĂ© in the fashionable Pavilion Shopping Centre in downtown Kuala Lumpur, and with the Zang Toi shoe licensing in Malaysia.

Kelly Choi in Zang- pic courtesy of
Zang continues to have a strong presence in the international fashion scene.  Having dressed the likes of Sharon Stone, Gong Li, Eva Longoria, Fergie of the Black Eye Peas, Heather Graham, Devon Aoki, Farrah Fawcett, Patti LaBelle, Ivana Trump and Melinda Gates, Zang Toi is now considered an established name in the world of Haute Fashion.  His timeless and uncompromising designs pamper women with elegance and glamour - inspired by his love of travel and fine living.

I would love to have apprenticed for the late Yves Saint Laurent. He will always be the king of fashion to me.”

New York Housewives' star Jill Zarin with Zang at Fall 2011 Collection

 The biggest challenge he had was when he had to buy out his former business partner in 1995 - 1996. They had a fall out because they did not share the same vision anymore and in addition to being a designer, he has to be a savvy businessman as well.

Zang personally likes French labels Hermes and Charvet. They offer best of the best quality products.

Doing what I love: designing and traveling around the world.”- Zang Toi
Kirstie Alley Fitting Session

 Zang Toi debuted his Spring 2012 collection but also his latest new line, Zang Toi Fine Jewellery was created in collaboration with Amee Philips Exclusive Jewellery during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center, New York. Iconic actress and 'Dancing with the Stars' star Kirstie Alley, and the American Ballet Theater's own Principle Dance, Cory Stearns were the stars walked the runway for Zang. 

Models Fitting Session
Zang Toi Fine Jwellery
Zang, Kirstie Alley & Amee
Every piece is handcrafted, every item is unique and every look is a limited edition, with only a handful actually produced. To Zang Toi, luxury dressing should be savoured and adored for generations.
Zang Spring 2012 Collection
Zang Spring 2012 Collection
Zang Spring 2012 Collection
Zang Spring 2012 Collection
The theme of this latest collection is "My Dream of North Africa”. This collection palate takes us from crisp desert sunrise to saturated sunset with deep browns, desert ebony, ivory and a brilliant sapphire blue. Fabrications compliment with linen printed on Silk gazar, silk mousseline, Loro Piana silk and cashmere, accented with touches of French lace and even 23K gold leaf border. 

Zang Spring 2012 Collection

Tuxedo looks are strong in dark ebony, bold sweeping A-line skirts steal the show for evening and 18 carat gold accessories make this collection one of the Zang Toi’s strongest statements to date.

“This collection was inspired by my dream of North Africa. The luxurious and inspiring spirit that I experienced in the entire Arab region when I visited 10 years ago was remembered when I recently read an article on the re-opening of the iconic La Mamounia. This season also featured a mini collection within a collection, 'One Thousand Nights & One Night', " he explains.

Zang One thousand nights & One Night Collection

Zang One thousand nights & One Night Collection

Zang One thousand nights & One Night Collection

Cory Stearns modeling a classy sapphire silk velvet imperial robe and ebony Italian silk dupioni tuxedo shirt + bow tie with evening trousers

Kirstie Alley strutting the runway with a stunning imperial coat and sapphire couture silk gazar strapless gown

“After weeks of hard work and slaving on Spring 2012 collection preparation, the most memorable or sweetest moment was to share the standing ovation and encouraging cheers with his staffs backstage. It is definitely one of my best shows so far and to be the only show with standing ovation in New York Fashion Week Spring 2012 was a humbling experience for me.” 

A sweet peck shared between the two


Zang, thanks for the lovely invite to your show. 

I am glad to have the opportunity to witness what went on behind the closed doors of all these beautiful garments. The Zang Toi team has worked very hard to make this show a success. Please give a round of applause to the team. They are amazing! 

Team Toi

Team Toi

Team Toi

Team Toi

Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it. – Author Unknown

I personally find Zang Toi to be a dedicated and detail-oriented person. He will personally go down the field to ensure and monitor all the work is in order. Also, to me, he is a well-motivated person as he always encourages his staff by saying “Good job and well done”. He is a person who knows how to enjoy life despite his busy schedule. I was told that he takes an off to go facial and to the gym each time he has done with the preparations. Cool, right??

X with Zang Toi

What is “Lucky Chicken” session?

yummy KFC

The team was treated for KFC meal a day before the show. I was told this is a tradition. Zang was not born with a silver spoon in mouth. When Zang first arrived in New York, he ate KFC for his meals. As a remembrance to who he is now, he practises to have “Lucky Chicken” session every year before the show.  

Runway picture credit: Eka Halim courtesy of Zang Toi
Video credit: Tia Walker