In October, I went to a Food & Wine Magazine “New Year’s Eve dinner party” shoot at my designing friend Zang Toi’s house. The other guests were White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses; models Deborah Fenker and Ling Tan; and the lovely Cecilia who, like me, is neither a model nor a famous chef. Cecilia and I laughed till we cried when we were seated at Zang’s dinner table with our backs to the camera. The charming photographer, Michael Turek, was like Tom Sawyer persuading his friends to whitewash the fence when he invited us to sit down. He made the chairs facing the wall sound so enticing! But Cecilia and I weren’t fooled. Well, the January Food & Wine is out, and here’s the exact picture we expected.
Cecilia has the blonde curls; I’m the one wearing the faux-ny tail.
I had better luck in another photo in which you get a glimpse of my profile. Unfortunately, Cecilia still has her back to the camera. I feel a little guilty. Don’t hate me, Cecilia!
See me on the left, near the pink poofy flowers?
But I’m shamelessly thrilled that my NYC rings got their own close-up as I clutched one of Bill’s rose-petal fruit jellies in my unmanicured fingers.
You must run out and buy the magazine because my broke-down scanner is not doing these gorgeous photos justice. You also need to see the adorable picture of Zang in his kitchen, read the lively profile about him and, if you like to cook, try out his delicious Malaysian recipes. In case you still have doubts about spending the $4.99 for the magazine, I’m sure you’ll be convinced by this wonderful email Zang got from a reader named Charlene:
Dear Mr. Toi, I am not in the habit of contacting designers. I am not a fashionista, nor do I even follow fashion. Until today, I have never heard of you. I am more of a grandmother, foodie, contesting person!
However, I do know and appreciate beauty when I see it, so I wanted to let you know the gown worn by Ling Tan for the New Year’s Eve article in the January issue of Food and Wine Magazine is one of the most exquisite and beautiful gowns I have seen in my 65 years on this earth! You are truly a very talented man. Thank you for such beauty!
I don’t know if you will receive this E-mail, but I had to try to let you know how much I appreciate your gift.
I almost cried when I read that! I left my previous career as a journalist in part because I was tired of delivering bad news to people all the time; I wanted to make people happy. Now, in a case of “the grass is always greener,” I sometimes worry that what I’m doing isn’t meaningful enough. But if any of my designs inspire someone the way Zang’s gown inspired Charlene, I’ll be content.
Here’s Ling wearing the gown in question on the runway during Zang’s September show.
As John Keats wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”!
oh no how unfortunate, 2 back shots! at least you got one hehe, and the hand shot. You needed your minx, but oh well.
It is really sweet to have read that note, the woman sounds very nice and the whole thing is endearing. Zang Toi seems to design from his heart, not for the hype.
Heart over hype, I love that!!!
joann, sidewalk chic says
What a really sweet comment from that reader. I think sometimes people associate negativity to the news, or the “mainstream media” in general, and so it is incredible when people stop for a moment to leave a heartfelt note to writers and artists.
So cool your rings got featured! Your dress looks really cool from what I can see — have you worn it on the blog before?
Here it is:
This is CRAZY great!!
Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl says
I know what this woman is talking about!! I am seriously in love with the gown myself. It was love at first sight, back when you first posted this runway picture!! Same happened with your Swear Rings – when I saw them for the first time, I knew I had to have them 🙂
Anyways, I love those pictures, it looks like such a gorgeous almost fairy-tale like party! Makes me think of summertime, gardens and laughter… All good assosiations, right!
And, if your anti-spam words weren’t cool enough, they’re starting to get creepily awesome – mine is “wedding”… And if you saw the comment I left regarding “the gown in question” on the link to this post on your FB profile, you know why it’s creepy, humm
Sara Rocha says
Wow, I must say, Zang Toi has a beautiful house!!!
I can photoshop the minx for you if you want…
@Zang Toi – It is a blessing to know you inspire someone in that way, I’m happy for you and you deserve it!
@Wendy – Don’t ever doubt that you inspire people the same way… I look at your website everyday and hope for one day to be able to afford to buy the Marie Antoinette Ring, I think you made it so it could belong to me 😛 and even though we never met, I feel like I know you a little.
Penny Dreadful Vintage says
What a lovely letter, that must have given Zang proper warm fuzzies. No Home & Garden here, can Zang give us one of his recipes via WendyB? I love Malaysian food x
Fajr | Stylish Thought says
You my dear are fab and your ponytail is stealing the show!
That’s so great. I can’t wait to see the layout. And the closeup of your rings…fantastic!
Everyone and everything looks fabulous, including the backs of your lovely heads. <3
How marvelous! The photos look stellar, and super exciting that your rings got featured.
Hi my dear-your dining event looks totally decadent and so enjoyable, Lings gown is indeed stunning and you too look ever so gorgeous!!xx
Grit and Glamour says
Congrats on the inclusion…especially on the fact that your rings made it in! Fabulous!
miss sophie says
the photos are lovely even with the grainy scans. i’ll have to check out the magazine in person 🙂 thanks for sharing the email as well. i think you and Zang Toi and other talented designers do amazing things with creating the beautiful, whimsical and delightful. thanks for a year of great inspirations, and here’s to many more in 2011! 😀
Ali B. says
Great rings! I was looking at that spread last night and admiring the fashion and jewelry. Very nice!
This looks like it was an amazing party, and I’m really happy that your rings got featured! Thanks for sharing the email that Charlene wrote to Zang Toi too. It was so sweet, I don’t blame you for almost crying.
The unmanicured fingers show off the rings more!
La Belette Rouge says
I called He-weasel and told him to not come home without this magazine. It is a GORGEOUS shoot. It looks like something out of a style-heaven dream.
Susu Paris Chic says
So much delightful beauty indeed! I’m happy for your successes dear gorgeous lady!
you are amazing and i love this post. i read it a couple of times in fact because i too was infatuated by all of the beauty in the pictures. not only the dress but the decor from the flowers to all of the decor in the house. And of course my favorite picture was that of your NYC rings. You go girl! I love your work and love wearing your wolfie. It gives me joy when people ask where I got it and who made it. I love to spread the word about your work.
miss cavendish says
You and Cecilia probably had the most glamourous backs-of-heads, with your faux-ny-tail and her extraordinary curls. Of course your fronts are more so . . .
Also that gown is GLORIOUS.
Your NYC rings are so cute!! Anyway; with regards to Charlene’s email to Zang, it is definitely the best compliment anyone can pay!
PS/ I really laughed out loud when I saw your comment about the chickens!
I was so excited to open my magazine and read that beautiful article!
Oooooh… rose-petal fruit jellies!
Do you remember what you and Deborah were talking about by the rose bushes?
Speaking of someone loving Zang’s work, one of my high school classmates saw the cowboy dress you wore at the Empire back in February during our WendyB pose photoshoot; she loved the dress, so I told her who made it and where to check out his work!