Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff With Kim Maresca & Miss U.S.A. Sarah Rose Summers

Story & Photos By Lieba Nesis -- It is rare to attend a fashion show and be greeted by Secret Service unless you are Zang Toi and dress Ivana Trump, Jean Shafiroff  and Marla Maples. Toi dresses royalty all over the world and celebrities including Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan and Pattie LaBelle.

 Those who don't know fashion darling Toi are surprised to learn that he is 57 since he looks 37 and that he was born in the Kuala Krai district in Kelantan Malaysia. He arrived in New York City at the age of 19 and attended the Parsons School of Design, eventually opening his own atelier in 1989.

 Zang's shows are romantic, exciting and elegant. The attendees are friends, family, customers and lovers of Zang and his fashion. This evening was extremely special to Zang as he was celebrating arriving in New York 38 years ago and he paid homage to the America he cherishes and appreciates. Zang who is known to use the finest materials of cashmere and silk for his clothing is equally famous for his heavily jeweled necklines and sweeping gowns and capes; however, tonight Zang was all about America.
Zang Toi With Model

 The show which began at 6:40 PM started with the national anthem which nearly brought tears to my eyes. The first of the 29 looks were dark blue denim and corduroy trenches and skinny jeans. These were not the Levi's kind of denim but the type that a Zang client would shell out big bucks for. Making denim look this classy is a near impossible feat that only Toi could pull off. The white and blue mohair mini dress coupled with a matching cape was luxurious and comfortable looking modern while still maintaining a classic air. Loro Piana was ubiquitous throughout the collection appearing in tweed blazers, trousers and capes. The Loro Piana cashmere coat with a mink tuxedo collar was positively royal as fox and mink were used generously throughout the collection. Toi's use of whites, blues and red-the colors of the American flag-were done in an extremely bold fashion with the glaring colors calling attention to the wearer. The white wool crepe kimono jacket with fox sleeves
was divine and perfectly contrasted to the black shoes-exhibiting once again that few do white suits better than Zang. After a brief pause "America the Beautiful" played again and we were treated to Zang's specialty-opulent ball gowns. The navy gazar gown drifted down the runway along with a red princess gown and a blue empired gown with hand-beaded crosses. The finale contained a navy silk skirt with a hand beaded American flag and an "All American Freedom Gown" that had stars on the bodice and train that were absolutely divine. This poignant collection had the audience spellbound as it was evident that Toi was moved by the extraordinary opportunity he was given to excel in the greatest country in the world.