Ting Barnard, the designer behind the Tong Collection, is a force to be reckoned with. The young mother, who moved from Laos to New England as a baby, left a high profile career in finance to pursue her dream of fashion design. This StyleWeek marks her debut. “The Tong Collection embraces Southeast Asian-inspired colors and fabrics with a modern twist,” Ting describes. “I think it’s impor tant for women to feel confident, bold, daring and carefree when they dress up. It’s all about how you work it.” Ting decided to make the change in careers, she says, “because I’m constantly trying to expand my wardrobe with unique designs.” However, she finds her biggest inspiration in a personal place: “The true inspiration for the Tong Collection is my mother Tong,” Ting explains. “Her name literally means Gold in Thai/Laotian. The Tong Collection celebrates other strong and influential women in my life who have shaped who I am.” For her debut collection, Ting will show clothing that can go from the office to an evening on the town. “This collection is versatile, seasonless and figure-friendly for every shape, size, color and style,” she says. “It’s quite fancy, and in a way very elegant, as the Tong woman is.” Ting Barnard will be presenting at 7pm on Sunday, August 26 at the Providence Biltmore.