By  on December 4, 2007

The latest crop of new designers knows how to use a light touch, showing airy confections that incorporate everything from sculptural ruched silk to ostrich feathers.

Backstory: Khoon Hooi has been a well-kept fashion secret in the West. The Kuala Lumpur-based designer has cultivated a loyal following of Malaysian fashion mavens since he launched his signature collection in 2000. Eight years later, he’s expanding into Stateside markets for spring. Hooi, 34, graduated from the Malaysian Institute for the Arts in 1993 and worked as an assistant designer for Voir, Playboy and Japanese retail giant Isetan. It wasn’t until he was named a finalist in two 1996 young designer competitions that Hooi considered launching his own line, which expanded to a secondary collection called Inspire.

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