031519_fashion

Zang Toi, right, with a model during a fashion show. Toi will stage a show at Old City Hall in Brunswick March 29.

While Isles ladies love their laid back, low key vibe, there’s also no denying that they’re also big fans of fashion. And an upcoming event is looking to offer a taste of the crème de la crème — New York City Fashion week.

Ally Urquhart, the buyer for Cloister Collection and Evelyne Talman, says the invite-only event is an experience like none other. The bi-annual soiree brings together the top buyers, influencers and celebrities in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

“It is such a rush of excitement when you walk into fashion shows. You see photographers talking pictures of those sitting front row, lights are bright and the music is booming,” she said.

“It is so much fun seeing not only what fashion is shown on the runway, but also what the attendees are sporting. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to bring this type of excitement to the Golden Isles. It is truly once in a lifetime event.”

It’s why she’s so excited that a huge name featured in the Big Apple’s annual showing will be making his way done to the Georgia Coast.

Zang Toi, a Malaysian designer, will be sharing his famous brand’s spring collection at a show in Brunswick on March 29. Toi was born and raised in a small village, Kuala Krai in Kelantan, Malaysia. He was the youngest of seven children of a local grocer. But after moving to New York City in his 20s, he catapulted to fame, with his styles gracing the pages of high fashion magazines like “Vogue.”

“Zang is amazing ... he’s been in the industry for 30 years, doing fashion in New York. He is quite a big deal ... he’s dressed everyone from Sharon Stone to Ivanka Trump. He’s dressed all of the ‘housewives,”’ she said.

According to Urquhart, Toi forged a friendship with local Steve Moore, owner of Evelyne Talman and the Cloister Collection on St. Simons Island.

“They were on a flight to Paris together and started talking. They realized they were both in the fashion industry and became friends,” she said.

More has hosted Toi for trunk and fashion shows previously. He appeared five years ago to showcase his designs for a fundraiser benefitting the Coastal Symphony of Georgia.

“We had him down in 2014, and he did a show on Sea Island. It was wonderful,” she said.

Moore wanted to invited Toi to come down again for an event to benefit the symphony.

But this time, they decided to make it more accessible. Toi will showcase his spring styles in a runway show beginning at 6 p.m. March 29 at Old City Hall in Brunswick.

“This collection are really a tribute to France and Yves St. Laurent, so the styles are a nod to him,” she said.

Urquhart also feels that the new venue was ideal for a couple of reasons.

“When I went to his show in New York, he did it an old post office so I was trying to think of a place that had the same feel to it. I love Old City Hall ... the marble and the ceilings, it was perfect,” she said.

“We wanted to open it up to allow more people to come and get even more for the symphony. And we will be offering a shuttle service at St. Simons Community Church to Brunswick. Of course, everyone is also welcome to drive themselves.”

The $95 ticket price also includes hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and champagne. All of the proceeds, Urquhart notes, will benefit the symphony. The money goes to pay the professional musicians and stage their quarterly concerts throughout the year. Tickets may be purchased at www.coastalsymphonyofgeorgia.org.

“It will be something totally different, new and fun,” she said. “We will also have the ready to wear styles at Evelyn Talman the following day.”

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