Malaysian fashion icon Zang Toi presented his romantic Spring 13 collection at the Lincoln Center, receiving a standing ovation at the close of the show for his French Riviera-inspired designs. Toi launched both women- and menswear, contrasting classic-cut jackets, capes and full-length gowns adorned with silk-chiffon and tulle and paired with top hats and faux-garter stockings with modern touches like sparkly embellishments and the occasional print — all set in a sunrise palette of pastel yellows, pale lavenders and elegant ivory. Famous supporters in the crowd included muse Julie Macklowe, Shontelle Layne, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley (center left and center right, respectively).

Born in the small village of Kelantan to a family of seven, Toi arrived to New York at the age of 20 and soon opened his atelier. “If anyone is THE NEXT BIG THING, it’s him," a 1991 Newsday article said of the rising designer, shortly after he was named the Mouton Cadet Young Designer of the Year. Toi, who is also involved in charity work, has since been worn by notorious figures such as 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. Now an established name in the fashion industry, Toi is launching a new make-up line with Amazing Cosmetics, and has revealed that he also has plans to expand his brand to include footwear and fine jewelry.

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