LONDON — “I was enjoying my night already, no matter what,” said Huishan Zhang, who won the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize on Tuesday night. “I thought I’d have another glass of Champagne then go home but now we might have to open a bottle!”
The designer was among four finalists including Emilia Wickstead, Barbara Casasola and Fyodor Golan in the running for the prize, which awards 25,000 pounds, or $40,430 at current exchange, as well as one-to-one mentoring and a two-night stay at one of the collection’s properties, which include the Beverly Hills Hotel, Le Meurice and the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris.
The competition was open to young designers of couture, ready-to-wear or premium accessories brands based in countries where there were Dorchester Collection properties.
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Milliner Stephen Jones was one of the judges, including Caroline Issa, Derek Blasberg, Daniella Helayel and Rupert Sanderson, who made the final decision after a short catwalk presentation of the designers’ spring/summer 2014 collections at the Dorchester Hotel. “The great thing was that, by and large, we all agreed on whom we wanted to win,” he said. “There were only a couple of dissenters but, the thing is, fashion competitions have to be about the creative and new and we had to decide on what we saw on the catwalk tonight.”