NEW YORK, Mar 17, 2009 / FW/ — Spending Christmas in Vienna, Zang Toi discovered Maria Theresa of Austria, the mother of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. He was so inspired by the woman regent that Zang Toi dedicated his Fall 2009 collection to her.
Though the world remembers her more famous offspring Marie Antoinette, Maria Theresa (1717-1780), archduchess of Austria, Holy Roman Empress, and queen of Hungary and Bohemia, was one of the most successful Habsburg rulers, male or female. She began her rule in 1740 and bore 16 children between 1738 and 1756.
While ruler of Austria, Maria Theresa helped initiate financial and educational reforms, promoted commerce and the development of agriculture, and reorganized the army, all of which strengthened Austria’s resources. A key figure in the power politics of 18th century Europe, Maria Theresa brought unity to the Habsburg Monarchy and was considered one of its most capable rulers.
Now that we know what a remarkable woman Maria Theresa was, it is now understandable why Zang Toi was fascinated with her. It also explained the regal quality his Fall 2009 collection.
Opting for black, white and red as the main color palette, allowed the fabric to take center stage. Using luxe materials like fur, silk, tulle and organza, there was almost no ‘hardware’ in the collection. Adornments were intricate embroidery and ruffles. The cut and the silhouette gave it that luxurious feel.
Photos courtesy of Zang Toi