There was a slight change of plans at Uma Wang. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese brand decided to cancel its Paris show as some pieces of the collection didn’t get to leave the country.

Still, some of the silhouettes made it to Paris — a lot of them are produced in Italy — and the designer chose to organize a presentation instead. “This is why there aren’t as many dramatic show pieces as usual: we changed the collection’s direction to be a bit more commercial,” said Wang.

The designer, whose collection was inspired both by the romantic silhouettes of the Victorian era and the vibrancy of the Jazz Age, continued her exploration of fabric treatments for fall. A cream cotton jacket was unstitched in parts, giving the impression that the fabric was disintegrating, and a wool coat was made of scarves that were still joined together: the frayed edges allowed the garment to be see-through in parts. A cream velvet dévoré jacket had corset details in contrasting brown on its back, while a long black taffeta skirt had a black velvet trim running along its edge, hinting at 19th-century frocks.

Warm, earthy tones were spotted on a long coat and matching cupro shirtdress printed with a smudged pattern inspired by a 15th-century painting Wang came across in a church she visited in Italy. There was a celebratory feel to a section made of brick red and gold brocade pieces, including a stunning caramel suit — luxurious silhouettes the designer added to bring a bit of joy to the collection.

“Faced with this epidemic, I felt useless,” explained the designer. “I really wished I was a doctor and not a fashion designer, so I could help solve the problem.” Despite important cancellations — a lot of Italian customers couldn’t make it to the Paris showroom — Wang noted an uptick in online sales. “That makes me happy: even in this nightmare time, people are still looking for fashion to cheer them up.”

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