LONDON, United Kingdom — One of London's open secrets is the young Chinese designer Huishan Zhang, who is widely tipped to have great future, evidenced by increasing commercial traction. It began with a small trickle of orders from Browns in London and Joyce in Hong Kong. Both are the sort of gold-plated names that make others sit up and take notice, and Zhang has now received orders from Opening Ceremony, Barneys and Bergdorfs. Not bad for this ex-Saint Martin's student who started out as a pattern cutter, but also interned at Dior in the couture workrooms. Not surprisingly, tailoring is his great forte and his first collection consisted of coats alone.
This season he presided over a discrete collection of nine looks — launched in a mews house near the Berkeley Hotel — which managed to attract all the right people, including the great and the good from top publications and American retailers. There was a sense of anticipation and subdued excitement in the room as they looked at dresses in soft colours interspersed with dramatic Chinese red and black, all of which were made in Zhang's atelier in China, although the designer actually lives and works in London on Southampton Row. This seems an East-West axis set to produce impressive fruit in the future.