Chinese-born designer Huishan Zhang is a cinephile — each of his collections are centered around a different starlet of the big screen.
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“It’s really a horror movie but it’s very stylish. The woman is at the center of the story,” Zhang said on a Zoom call from China, alluding to the scene in which the character of Judy becomes Madeleine, emerging from a soft turquoise fog in a cinched gray skirt suit.
Zhang borrowed key parts from costume designer Edith Head’s wardrobe for “Vertigo” and reinterpreted it into his own lookbook, which was shot in California.
Novak’s white calf-length coat with a popped collar was reimagined as a belted trenchcoat in a burnt orange hue sampled from the original film poster; the film inspired various necklines, including deep Vs, scoop and heart-shaped, and there was a camp take on the jewel tones and nuances of color seen throughout the flower shop scene in “Vertigo.”
Zhang, who has a penchant for maximalism, strategized this collection differently — he explained that he started off with the idea of “cigarette minimalism” and then embellished as he built up the collection with ostrich feathers, sequins and embroidered chokers.
The designer will be present for his London Fashion Week show in February, marking the first time in three years that he’s been able to attend it due to China’s lockdown.
“The pre-collections always hang a little thread to what we’re going to do at the shows,” Zhang said of his upcoming collection.
Even though Zhang has mastered the design and financial side of party dressing, his next step is all about building a wardrobe and expanding the ready-to-wear categories beyond Mayfair gowns and cocktail dresses.
Launch Gallery: Huishan Zhang Pre-Fall 2023