LFW AW15 Highlights: Huishan Zhang

Cigarette trousers and champagne service in The Rosewood Hotel

Lace detail in one of Zhang's most show-stopping pieces. Image: James Hostford

Loose ponytails were the dominant hair trend across the show. Image: James Hostford

White cigarette trousers make for a sophisticated look. Image: James Hostford

Animal prints added an interesting dynamic to the presentation. Image: James Hostford

Zhang clashes textures and colours whilst retaining a graceful element to his designs. Image: James Hostford

Ever since captivating the hearts of fashion critics in London Fashion Week in 2012, Huishan Zhang has been a regular name on the LFW schedule, proving to be a hot favourite, even among the captious few.

Handpicked by Delphine Arnault (daughter of LVMH’s Bernard Arnault), Zhang spent a year refining his craft at the House of Dior in Paris before establishing himself in London. The Central Saint Martins graduate has since seen his dresses – with their alluring, delicate and feminine details – donned by the likes of Kiera Knightley and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Held in the visually stunning Mirror Room at The Rosewood Hotel, where guests were served scones and champagne (think 1920s Great Gatsby opulence), Huishan Zhang’s AW15 show enthralled the audience by showcasing a fusion of the sophistication and romance of both eastern and western heritage.

Set to an eclectic mix of gospel and indie rock music, Zhang’s breathtaking collection was anything but prosaic. Taking inspiration from traditional Chinese looks, his dresses were striking in colour. The embroidered floral pieces had intricate detailing, while his lace designs were embellished with crystals that glinted perfectly under the dim lights.

Zhang’s coats also incorporated these exotic themes, with tiger stripes and subtle golden
streaks supposedly paying homage to ancient Chinese dynasties. Zhang explained his inspiration for the show: “A lot of the things I got from old books of China.” He went on to expand: “Like the emperors and their hunting jackets – lots of rich texture.”

Strong lines and geometric designs – key features in Zhang’s signature look – were also pervasive in his show. Such patterns were seen in a rainbow colour palette of crop tops, skirts and dresses. These were brilliantly contrasted with cigarette trousers of unassuming colour and black tights, drawing attention to the top. Through Zhang’s artful placement of whimsical patterns, vivid texture was tangible even for pieces presented in the most neutral of colours.

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