My partner in crime and I headed over for the third night of the Mercedes-Benz STYLO Fashion Grand Prix 2015 (MBSTYLOFGP 2015) on 27 March 2015 at The Strand in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya for a night of glitzy fashion featuring the Fashion Awards Gala with Zang Toi’s “Mystique of Venice”. The awards night was the climax of the 3-day fashion festival, and was presented by luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz. Adding to the crowd of socialites and celebrities was Bernd Maylander, German Formula One safety car driver who took time off from the track to grace the event.
Earlier in the night there was a full course sit-down dinner for selected VIP guests which preceded Zang Toi’s “Mystique of Venice” showcase which was fresh from the New York Fashion Week. Upcoming violinist and model Josh Kua kicked off the show with some dramatic theatrics paying homage to masquerade balls in Venice while the models paraded Zang Toi’s collection which featured subtle hues and elaborate masks and head pieces keeping with the “Masquerade” theme of the night. The face masks were courtesy of AXXEZZ by Gina-Frias Himpe.
Zang Toi’s final dress at the closing of his “Mystique of Venice” show was Hollywood celebrity, Eva Longoria’s white cut-out dress worn at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2005, recreated especially for the night by Zang Toi. Datuk Nancy Yeoh (President & CEO of STYLO International) was clad in the red version of the same outfit.
The inclusion of Zang Toi this year, recognizes the inspiring story of the iconic Malaysian designer – a small town boy who made it big internationally. As such, Zang Toi was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his fashion label, House of Toi at the MBSTYLOFGP 2015 press conference recently. This is the second time this award is presented to a well deserving Malaysian, with Datuk Jimmy Choo, being the first recipient in 2010.
This year, MBSTYLOFGP supported the Asian fashion industry by teaming up with the Asia Council of Fashion Designers (ACFD), a non-profit trade organisation comprising a council from 15 Asian countries to present its inaugural ‘Fashion Brand of the Year 2015’ award.
ACFD, co-founded by Datuk Nancy Yeoh and Mr Timothy Chen of AF Global Inc., was set-up to promote the fashion industry trade within Asia and globally. Datuk Jimmy Choo, Honorary Advisor to STYLO International presented the ACFD ‘Brand of the Year 2015’ to Miss Pat Liew, CEO of BritishIndia. The award is in recognition of an international Asian brand for its achievement and contributions to the Asian fashion industry.
The Mercedes-Benz STYLO Fashion Awards Gala recognised excellence in the local fashion scene by presenting awards to deserving individuals in various categories:
A. Designer of the Year 2015 – presented to Fairuz Ramdan
B. Best Designer Showcase 2015 – presented to Bon Zainal
C. Best Male Model of the Year 2015 – presented to Nick Shoong Wai Hong
D. Best Female Model of the Year 2015 – presented to Eleen Yong Ee Leen
The night also featured the announcement of the Emerging Designer of the Year 2015 winner, after the presentation of the finalists interpretation to the theme, “Fashion Anarchy”. The competition saw the submission of over 100 entries, with only the 12 best participants shortlisted to enter the semi-finals in a tough selection process.
The judges for the night were Datuk Nancy Yeoh (President & CEO of STYLO International), Mr Roland Folger (President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia), Ms Aureen Jean Nonis (Director of Llifestyle Section, Matrade), Mr. Izwan Zainuddin (Chief Investment Officer of MyCreative Ventures), Datin Hjh Sabrina Laila (Head of Encorp Strand Mall), Datin Winnie Loo (Founder and Chief Creative Director A Cut Above Group of Salons & Academy), Mr Bon Zainal (MBSTYLOFGP 2014 Designer of the Year & Vice President of the Bumiputera Designers Association) and Ms Judy Raine (wife of Mr Mark Raine, VP Sales & Marketing Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.
The top 3 winners were Norsyahira Binti Khairudin (Management & Science University), first runner-up Zoe Fang Chai Hui (SML Fashion Academy) and second runner-up Vinny Lie (Lim Kok Wing University Of Creative Technology). All 3 winners are further supported with a prize money by MyCreative Ventures (a government investment arm to spur Malaysia’s creative industry) and a platform to create and showcase their first collection at the Malaysia Fashion Week 2015 later this year.
Mr Roland Folger, the President & CEO of Mercedes Benz Malaysia, said in his speech, “Through the years, Mercedes-Benz STYLO Awards Gala, has unearth and recognised some exceptional talents through this platform, and presented Malaysia to the world. We are happy to continue this effort to push the boundaries further in the coming years.”
”Throughout the festival, a Fashion Exhibition was in place with the Stylo II “The Shabby Chic” boat as its highlight. The display of Stylo II whose interior is dressed by Malaysian International Fashion Designer, Zang Toi and Bon Zainal is to celebrate the inclusion of the maritime lifestyle segment into Mercedes-Benz STYLO events” said Datuk Nancy Yeoh. “Additionally, there was an exclusive contest each night throughout the festival whereby the best dressed fashionista in the ‘Fashion Anarchy” theme stands a chance to win “A day on board Stylo II” with 8 friends. They will sail on board complete with a bar installed by FGP’s beverage partner, Glenfiddich & Reyka and its nasi lemak partner, Teh Tarik Place, serving its famous Malaysian delicacy plus get to stay at my lovely house in Penang.”
Partners and sponsors of MBSTYLOFGP 2015 include Red Carpet Avenue @ Encorp Strand Mall (official venue), William Grants & Sons, Chaswood Resources, MYCreative Ventures, Reissiger Marine, A Cut Above (official hair), Diva Productions (official make-up); ICAD (formerly PJ Cad) & Inti College Subang for backstage support.