Stranded in China, Huishan Zhang managed to host an audience-free show at the majestic, 17th-century Milanese palace Villa Arconati. Despite being unable to travel, Zhang is counting his blessings. This month, he became the first Chinese designer to make the cover of British Vogue when actress Gemma Chan appeared in one of his gold sequined dresses. He’s also been reaching new audiences in markets including New Zealand and Canada due to an e-commerce launch mid-pandemic.
The look: The lady of the manor returning to the social whirl, hosting summer parties at her estate, going to Annabel’s in London with her friends from around the world, all of whom are traveling again (unlike Zhang himself).
Quote of note: “My customers help me realize what role my clothes play in their lifestyle. Even with lockdowns, my customers keep buying dresses from my site, either for wearing at home or to cheer themselves up and prepare for the future. Their support really encourages me to come up with couture-like fancy dresses and daywear to cater to these needs.” Referring to the Villa Arconati show, he said, “Milan is one of my favorite places in the world. The Milan show for me is a postcard to those who have been supporting us during the pandemic to remind them of the good times to come.”
Key pieces: New Look-inspired dresses and jackets adorned with ostrich feathers and crystals; floor-length evening gowns with long capes; pleated tops and trousers, and an embroidered shirtdress with lantern sleeves.
Takeaway: Huishan Zhang is not just for “Crazy Rich Asians.” Anyone can carry off Zhang’s clothes with ease.