Storm Eunice made for a torrential start to London Fashion Week’s fall/winter 2022 shows. But what truly took the runways in the British capital by storm were these rising and established Asian designers and their masterfully crafted collections

1. Yuhan Wang

For several seasons, Yuhan Wang has been garnering fans of her strategic draping and nostalgic wallpaper printed frocks, modernised with sharp blazers and sexy lace. This season, Wang’s collection entitled “Venus in Furs” draws inspiration from an 1870 book of the same name by Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, which explores the ideas of femininity and felinity. “My main focus this season is to make women feel proud of who they are,” she says.

In addition, this sentiment translated to cat motifs sprinkled onto her signature silhouettes. Some are hand-painted in watercolour over a parakeet green knitwear; others involved a faux leopard print coat that matched Wang’s cat who made a cameo in the show.      

Don’t miss: Tatler’s Edit of the Best Runway Looks From London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022

2. Eudon Choi

This marked Korean designer Eudon Choi’s first runway since Covid-19 began. Learning what shoppers are after in these uncertain times has been a learning curve for fashion designers worldwide—though after spending time doing so, Choi suddenly had a change of heart. “Over the pandemic, I’d been working hard to understand what the market really needs because it changed how people live and how people shop,” he says. “But this season especially, I lost interest—and really wanted to follow my heart.”

The designer decided to look to the 1964 Italian film Red Desert, directed by the late award-winning filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni. “The director didn’t have a clear synopsis and improved by focusing on creating really strong visuals.” For Choi, this meant kicking off the collection with reds, like a silky number spliced and cinched at the neckline, then a series of ochre and cobalt ensembles made in his beautifully off-kilter shapes, fastened strategically with delicate string details. “This collection was all about expressing optimism for the future with its a bold, unapologetic palette.” Choi also debuted a new handbag collaboration with the French brand Louis Quatorze. “It’s exciting to come back to the catwalk with something new,” he says. “I always like to add accessories to my designs—it really completes and strengthens the looks.”

3. Simone Rocha

Irish-Chinese designer Simone Rocha’s ability to continuously refresh the punk princess genre she invented is always a pleasure to witness. This season sees Rocha delving deeper into the darker undertones always at play in her work, with a collection inspired by Children of Lir, a haunting Irish legend. The tale involves the jealous wife of an Irish king, who casts a spell and turns his children into swans. 

Black Swan-esque motifs appear throughout her signature frothy, bejewelled creations. Beyond beautiful puff-sleeved trenches, this season you’ll find more moto-jacket panelling, embellished balaclavas.

4. Elleme

Since launching ready-to-wear right at the start of the pandemic, Jing Jing Fan has expanded the team at her Paris atelier. Originally focused on leather goods— think the widely popular Dumpling Bag—Fan’s new offerings include sleek separates in sharp shapes. Much like her accessories, her ready-to-wear pieces have found a loyal following amongst today’s hottest influencers.

“This season, we used a lot of fabrics from menswear to create very feminine silhouettes,” says Fan. “ [I was] inspired by the general oversized boyfriend cut to create something more fitted and unique.” Find men’s suits cut into bustiers and oversized shirts worn as tunics over sleek trousers. The glossy trench and cobalt velvet blazer, in particular, are sure to be crowd favourites. 

5. Huishan Zhang

What does the stylish modern woman want to wear? That is the question Qingdao-born designer Huishan Zhang asked himself for his fall/winter collection. Zhang looked to the late Italian aristocrat and style icon Marella Agnelli—a muse of the legendary photographer Richard Avedon—as well as the 20th century New York society darling and fashion editor Babe Paley for inspiration. 

Modern interpretations of the enduring styles the two women were known for were brought to life in the collection. Known for his way with tulle creations, Zhang crafted vermillion columns glitter details. Denim looks were given a couture wash, while Zhang’s fit-and-flare crepe frocks remain staples in this collection. “In an age where everyone can shape their own identities, free from the strict social etiquettes that Agnelli and Paley were surrounded by, the most important thing is to just have fun with it,” says Zhang in a statement.

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