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STYLE : FASHION : Orient Expression

June 23, 1991|MICHAEL EISENHOWER

Some of today's most innovative clothing designers hail from points east. Korean-born Gemma Kahng, known for curvy jackets punctuated by oversized buttons, came to the United States at 14. Josie Natori, who has just launched an evening-wear line, left a career on Wall Street to design sleep-wear decorated with the intricate embroidery of her native Philippines. Zang Toi and Yeohlee were both born in Malaysia. Yeohlee takes an architectural approach to clothing design (cut and proportion are all-important), an artistic sensibility that she attributes to her ethnic background. And Zang Toi possesses a flair for the dramatic, which shows up in his use of rich fabrics and emphasis on details. Together, these Asian designers are introducing an Eastern aesthetic to a Western audience. Hair: John Caruso/ Celestine; makeup: Robyn Lynch/ Celestine; model: Eugenie Vincent/ Click Models of Los Angeles; props: above and bottom left, Newtone sofas by Massimo Iosa Ghini for Moroso at (di-zin), Melrose, top left, Santos chair by Gerald Nuhrig at Wittmann USA

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