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2012 LFW Report Day 2: John Rocha, Huishan Zhang, Yifang Wan and Others

The sun was bright and sunny today in London and I continued my quest to bring you the best of the London Fashion Week (LFW). Today I attended five shows, predominantly of Asian designers based in London. With high heels on and red lipstick as a weapon, I conquered one show after another. (Originally published on

Huishan Zhang

First stop was presentation by China-born Huishan Zhang. His S/S 2013 collection, inspired by his homeland, was superb both in the execution and presentation.  With Latin American jazz playing in the background, models with hair beautifully braided, glided across the room in elegant and ultra feminine designs. Paying tribute to Chinese culture, Zhang used silhouettes of Cheongsam (traditional Chinese dress), patterned lace, and designs of ancient birds, pagodas and mahjong game tiles in a playful manner. Elements of traditional Chinese craftsmanship, such as exquisite embroidery, were complemented with modern Swarovski crystals embellishments on dress collars and hems. Zhang used light fabrics, such as silk and organza, in minty green, crème, black and different shades of blue to complete the feminine look. I loved every single piece and it was the kind of collection one could easily wear wherever they are – London, Paris, New York or Shangai.

Yifang Wan

Another London-based Chinese designer, Yifang Wan, delivered a simple, yet elegant collection. Based on just black and white colours, Wan juxtaposed long and short, fluid and structured, inside and outside. Following the architectural aesthetics of her MA graduate collection, Wan created linear designs through impeccable pattern cutting and use of high-quality materials. According to Wan, the S/S 2013 womenswear collection is about “elegant, elongated silhouette but with looser deconstructed styles that are both lucid and effortless”. Wearing loose fitting trousers, flowing tunics and long coats, and accessorised with heavy block belts and multi-faceted cuffs, models looked like modern warriors in the city jungle. The simplicity of the collection on its own was an uncomplicated yet original statement.

Ji Chen
Ji Chen, another Chinese designer, unveiled her latest collection ‘Teaism’ today. Similar to other Asian designers, Chen’s design aesthetics are based on combination of Eastern inspirations with Western tailoring. Tradition of tea making, which originated in ancient China and is now popular worldwide, serves as a reference point to the whole collection. The designer combines trendy asymmetric cuts, peplum shapes and pocket panelling with timeless voluminous ruffle skirts and backless dresses. Made of out organic cotton and finest silk, garments in the shades of pastel green, crème, mink, grey and black were embellished with tassels and accessorized with handmade bamboo hats. The whole collection, accompanied with the melodious Chinese singing, transported audience to the tea fields of China and reminded of the beauty of Orient.

Jeffrey Michael

Jeffrey Michael, a young British designer who already boasts an impressive list of celebrity clients, presented his S/S2013 collection called ‘From the Water’. Inspired by the images of a woman emerging from the waves and seafoam on the midnight beach, his collection is geared towards a modern woman who is savvy, fashionable and extremely flirty. Yet she is also graceful, poised and complex. Using fabrics in the shades of hot and soft pink, white, blue, peach and red, Jeffrey Michael played with different styles: flowing skirts and elegant cocktail numbers were followed by comfortable beach dresses and funky leggings. In that, one can see Michael’s understanding and appreciation for changing and always evolving nature of a woman’s style – from serious and proper to fun and flirty.

John Rocha

Veteran of the London Fashion Week, Hong Kong-born John Rocha did it again and I loved every bit of his collection! Inspired by the Chateau Lacoste, a vineyard and arts centre in South France, the collection brought colours of Provence together with textures of art works of such artists, as Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Sierra. In his S/S 2013 designs Rocha continued to use duality of strong and tender and complemented his signature black with a bright palette of Provence colours – sunny yellow, rose red, sky blue, and peony pinks. Once again he used beautiful fabrics, such as silk organza and chiffon, together with various types of lace, three-dimensional embellishments and appliquéd patchwork, to create structured yet elegant and romantic pieces. Rocha’s collection was “lit by new depths of colour, inspired by his enduring love of structure, texture and form, and filled with his particular balance of strength and tenderness.”

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