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    New York Fashion Week: Zang Toi Fall/Winter 2015 Runway Show

    Februar 18th, 2015

    Zang Toi wowed his audience at Lincoln Center last night as he presented his jaw-dropping Fall/Winter 2015 Collection “Mystique Beauty of Venice”. To the sound of alluring opera music the designer opened the show with an elegant collection of black pantsuits accessorized with black and mahogany rabbit fur, silk and wool tweeds and taupe lamb suede twin sets. The majority of the pieces were heavy on black and taupe creating a dramatic yet sophisticated look with a hint of romantic mystique. The second half of the runway show earned the designer rousing applause from the audience as he sent out his models wearing glamorous black couture silk satin gowns, bronze lamé fortuny pleated gowns and black lamé fortuny pleated Venetian gowns that brought sunny Venice to snowy and cold New York City. The stunning show concluded with the Grand Finale look for which the renowned designer received a standing ovation: a male model in a black cotton velvet dinner suit and a Venetian feather mask walked the runway hand in hand with a model wearing a taupe silk gazar grand opera cape with hand-beaded black sequins outlining the Venetian skyline. Toi’s latest creations capture the beauty of Venice while paying homage to the sophisticated, glamorous and timeless beauty of the female form. Bravissimo!

    Malaysian-born Zang Toi founded his fashion label and the “House of Toi” collection in 1989 and is considered a renowned designer in the world of Haute Fashion. He studied at the famed Parsons School of Design after moving to NYC at the age of 20. He is known for his chic and sophisticated designs that are both timeless and elegant. Toi’s contribution to the fashion industry has been recognized in various publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New York Times. His luxurious creations that are all hand made in NYC are popular with Hollywood celebrities and royalty alike.

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    Zang Toi Fall / Winter Fashion Show

    BOLD: Glamorous full-length gowns // Great combination of fur, silk and suede // Elegant pantsuits OLD: Too heavy on dark colors // Some gowns are too extravagant

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Show: Zang Toi Fall 2014 Runway Show
    2_Zang Toi in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Show: Zang Toi Spring 2013 Runway Show


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    Fashion Backstage: Speakingfashion with Catherine Malandrino

    August 19th, 2013

    catherine malandrino, malandrino, fashion designer malandrino, catherine malandrino interview

    Once upon a time in the 70s of the last century, a young Fashion Princess lived an untroubled childhood in the idyllic French Alps. Along with her three sisters, the young girl enjoyed pastoral life in her native city of Grenoble in France. Skiing was the princess’ favorite leisure time activity. When her 12th birthday rolled around, her desire to distinguish herself from all the other skiers on the slopes began to burn strongly within her. And so, one night, she crept stealthily down to her mother’s sewing kit and removed a needle and some thread. With it she tailored a ski suit that was a thousand times prettier and a thousand times more ornate than any that had ever been seen in the land. The ski suit made with silver and gold-colored fabric instantly transformed the young Fashion Princess into the star of the slopes. A heady moment during which the young girl became aware that her self-made fashion bestowed her with a secret power, a power that singled her out. And she began to fantasize about using this secret power on all the young women of this world. Today, some 30 years later, this very French Princess rules the Fashion Capital of the world: New York.

    speakfashion: Catherine, your first encounter with the world of fashion almost sounds like a fairy tale. Have your ambitions changed while you grew up?

    Catherine Malandrino: No not at all. I grew up with this dream of changing women, to empower them. I first realized that when I got all these compliments from strangers adoring my uniquely designed ski suit. All of a sudden I was somebody. The suit made me feel like a superstar on the local slope. This experience triggered something. I knew back then, that the right design would bring confidence and strength even to the most insecure individual.

    speakfashion: Is it safe to say that the feeling of being special through a unique piece of clothing basically triggered you to become a professional Fashion Designer?

    Catherine Malandrino: Yes. I wanted to share this feeling with all the women in the world. I wanted them to have the same, wonderful experience. So when the time was ripe to leave my beautiful hometown I applied for a scholarship at ESMOD in Paris. And sure enough, I got in.

    “Everything was falling into place. The man gave me wings to really fly.”

    speakfashion:
    How come that a Parisian trained Fashion Designer hops over the pond and tries to make it in New York?

    Catherine Malandrino: Well, that’s another story (hearty laughter). After I graduated from ESMOD I worked for Dorothée Bis, Louis Féraud and Emanuel Ungaro, before I started off at “Et Vous” in 1998. The latter send me over to New York on a business trip where I met Bernard Aiden, then a Manager for “Et Vous” America and – well, fell deeply in love with him. So much so, that I decided to leave my life in Paris behind and move to New York for good.

    speakfashion: Wow, that sounds like a true adventure. But obviously, it did pay off well for you. So it definitely was the right decision, wasn’t it?

    Catherine Malandrino: Yes, absolutely. I moved here and my career basically exploded. As a matter of fact, one of my first dinner parties was an invitation from Diane von Furstenberg who, at the very same evening, asked me to be the Head Designer for her new collection. Everything just was falling into place.

    speakfashion: When did you first start thinking of establishing your own brand?

    Catherine Malandrino: Well, I didn’t have so much time to think back then. I was busy designing for Diane but knew that I wanted to have my own label at some point. So I worked at DVF during the day and on my own collection after work and on the weekends. Back then I was working on the iconic ‘Flag Collection’ which turned out to be a perfect fit for Americans in the aftermath of September 11th. The collection combined American patriotism with European elegance. It certainly was the breakthrough for my career and an important milestone for my own label.

    Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013Catherine Malandrino - Spring / Summer 2013

    speakfashion: In your collections today you still play with the controversy of the two cities you love most: Paris and New York. Is that something we will see continuing in the collections to come?

    Catherine Malandrino: Yes, no doubt about it. I am still in love with the French elegance, its romanticism and sentimentality. On the other hand though, I get this tremendous shot of energy every time I land and one of New York City’s airports. There is a big contrast between the two cities and I try to put this tension together so it appears almost as one united state of mind.

    “I cannot imagine being anything else but a fashion designer. “

    speakfashion:
    Besides your dream of combining the identity of these two inspiring cities, what else pushes you to work as a designer every day?

    Catherine Malandrino: Honestly, I cannot imagine being anything but a Fashion Designer. I get so much pleasure out of designing new pieces every day and even more so because I know, I’ll bring pleasure to others. Fashion to me is about expressing a moment. It’s a part of your personality. And I feel very lucky to help so many different women to progress their personalities every day. Can you ask for more inspiration?

    speakfashion: Most certainly not, Catherine. Thanks a bunch for sharing your story and all the best for the future.

    A feature story version of this interview recently appeared in the international Lifestyle and Design Magazine ‘The Brander‘, written by our very own Thomas Escher.

    Catch up with Catherine Malandrino
    Catherine Malandrino – NYC Headquater
    275 W 39th St, New York City, Phone: 212.840.0106 ext. 125
    W: www.catherinemalandrino.com


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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Men’s Tuxedo?

    Mai 14th, 2013

    The men’s tuxedo, aka tailcoat was invented by Henry Poole of namesake Tailor Company Henry Poole & Co. in London in 1860. Located on London’s famous Savile Row, Poole created a less formal version of the tailcoat, a short smoking jacket for the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII of the United Kingdom) to wear it to informal dinner parties. Due to the Prince’s recommendation to tailor a dinner dress only at Henry Poole & Co Company, the tuxedo became quickly famous in 1886, when New York’s millionaire James Potter brought the dinner suit home with him to the Tuxedo Park Club, a newly established residential country club for New York’s elite. Read the rest of this entry
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    Tailcoat

    April 6th, 2013

    A tailcoat aka tuxedo is a men’s formal suit that was invented by Henry Poole of namesake Tailor Company Henry Poole & Co. in London in 1860. It is usually tailored and made of a black or navy blue fabric, comes either single or double-breasted, has large silk lapels and is worn with a white shirt and a black bow-tie. The matching pants has usually a satin stripe that is running down the sites and is worn with a cummerbund which was called a waistcoat back at the time. Read the rest of this entry
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    Smoking

    April 6th, 2013

    A smoking is a men’s formal suit that was invented by Henry Poole of namesake Tailor Company Henry Poole & Co. in London in 1860. It is usually tailored and made of a black or navy blue fabric, comes either single or double-breasted, has large silk lapels and is worn with a white shirt and a black bow-tie. The matching pants has usually a satin stripe that is running down the sites and is worn with a cummerbund which was called a waistcoat back at the time. Only the French, Italian’s and German’s call it smoking. For the American’s it is a tuxedo and for the English it is a dinner suit or dinner jacket.
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    Fashion Style Tip: The tomato-red jumper

    Februar 27th, 2013

    Rethink tailoring with Salvatore Ferragamo’s fresh tomato-red playsuit. Cut from soft strech-jersey this smart piece is the perfect blend of style and comfort. Wear it for a low-key dinner with studded ankle boots and an oversized handbag.

    speakfashion, speak fashion, speaking fashion, Fashion Tips for Women, Clothing Tips, Clothes Tips, Fashion Assistance, Style Tips, Styletip, Fashion Style Tip, Fashionista, Salvatore Ferragamo, Salvatore Ferragamo red jumpsuit, Salvatore Ferragamo jumpsuit, red jumpsuit, red jumper

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Style Tip: Catherine Malandrino red jumpsuit
    2_Salvatore Ferragamo in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Style Tip: Mango jumpsuit


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    Latest Fashion News: Schiaperelli & Prada’s Impossible Conversation

    Juni 25th, 2012

    As I already mentioned in October, I saw yesterday the Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973) vs Miuccia Prada (born 1949) exhibition “Impossible Conversation” at the MET in New York City.

    The exhibit explores the similarities between the two powerful Italian women fashion designers. Both were born in Italy, Schiaparelli in Rome in 1890, Prada in Milan in 1949. Both were from conservative families and both came late to fashion almost by accident. Schiaparelli started making her own clothes after living in Paris and not finding the clothing that suited her very own tastes. Her focus was designing hats and jackets. Ms. Prada on the other hand inherited a family luggage business, began to design bags, then shoes, then clothes eventually.

    Based on Vanity Fair’s “Impossible Interviews” from the 1930′s, the exhibit shows a video conversation between actress Judy Davis, playing Ms. Schiaperelli and Ms. Prada herself. Created by Costume Institute curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton with the help of filmmaker Baz Luhrman, Bolton taped interviews with Ms. Prada and separately with Judy Davis whose script comes directly from Schiaparelli’s autobiography “Shocking Life”. He then cut the films together that you see the two powerful women having an “Impossible Conversation” across a long dinner table at the beginning of the show, and several times throughout.


    Intro Baz Luhrmann Met Video

    The exhibition also displays several designs from both designers with the main topic: waist up vs waist down. Schiaparelli tells us that back in her time, society women were often encountered seated at tables in cafes or restaurants. She, as a fashion designer was therefore most interested in designing clothing items that were most visible in such situations: everything from the waist up. Ms. Prada, who had experienced hippie back-to-the-earthness along with the sexual revolution was more focused on the lower part of the body: everything from the waist down. The show gives us therefore an interesting selection of Schiaparelli’s jackets and hats, while Prada shows us her skirts and shoes.

    I think this exhibit was excellent performed even though I don’t think it will be such a success as McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” drama from last year. Prada and Schiaparelli’s “Impossible Conversation” is an inspiring, intellectual piece of history that delivers some of the main answers to the never outdated question: what makes a woman desirable to herself? Surely the most important issue for independent and emancipated women back then and now.

    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Schiaperelli meets Prada at the MET
    2_Elsa Schiaparelli in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Miuccia Prada in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary


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    Henry Poole & Co

    September 30th, 2011

    Henry Poole & Co, English gentleman’s tailor, founded in 1806. The key people were: James Poole, Founder, Angus Cundey, Owner , Simon Cundey, Director and Henry Poole. Located at №15 Savile Row in London, the family-run business invented the Dinner Suit in 1860 even though they were originally specialized in military tailoring.
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    Dinner Jacket

    September 22nd, 2011

    A dinner jacket is a men’s formal jacket that was invented by Henry Poole of namesake Tailor Company Henry Poole & Co. in London in 1860. It is usually tailored and made of a black or navy blue fabric, comes either single or double-breasted, has large silk lapels and is worn with a white shirt and a black bow-tie. Only the English call it dinner jacket or dinner suit. For the American’s it is a tuxedo, for the French, Italian’s and German’s it’s called smoking.
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    Dinner Suit

    September 22nd, 2011

    A dinner suit is a men’s formal suit that was invented by Henry Poole of namesake Tailor Company Henry Poole & Co. in London in 1860. It is usually tailored and made of a black or navy blue fabric, comes either single or double-breasted, has large silk lapels and is worn with a white shirt and a black bow-tie. The matching pants has usually a satin stripe that is running down the sites and is worn with a cummerbund which was called a waistcoat back at the time. Only the English call it dinner suit or dinner jacket. For the American’s it is a tuxedo, for the French, Italian’s and German’s it’s called smoking.
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