BEIJING REPEAT: All the stars aligned for Prada.
Echoing the original Milan shows that featured celebrities such as Hunter Schafer and Kyle MacLachlan, the Beijing repeat of Prada’s men’s and women’s fall 2022 collections surprised with some of the most high-profile Chinese film stars in the industry.
A total of nine well-known Chinese actors and actresses walked the show. Liao Fan, winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival; Kara Wai Ying Hong, three-time recipient of Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress; Bai Yufan and Rayzha Alimjan, stars of the popular TV series “Mining Town”; Guo Keyu, the actress-turned-reality-show-star; Huang Jue, an arthouse favorite; Huang Miyi, actress of the popular TV drama “The Bad Kids,” and Prada ambassadors Chun Xia and Li Yifeng, added star power to the runway.
Supermodels Du Juan, Ju Xiaowen and Cici Xiang, and top male models Jin Dachuan and Zhao Lei also walked the show.
More than 400 guests, including Prada ambassador Cai Xukun, film director Jia Zhangke, artist Cao Fei and architect Yung Ho Chang, attended the event. The show took place at Prince Jun’s Mansion, a royal compound that was formerly the residence of Prince Jun in the Qing dynasty.
The restaged show featured 51 looks with slightly altered styling and a few added pieces. The event was livestreamed on social media platforms Weibo, Douyin and Tencent Video, garnering more than 92.7 million views.
Prada worked with AMO to transform the space. Geometric lighting systems and industrial non-slip metal flooring both add a touch of modern grit to the ancient red-bricked palace and its back garden.
In Yihan “Chace” Zhu’s eyes, the popular alternative rock band Mandarin frontman and DJ, elements of juxtaposition from Depeche Mode’s soundtrack further transformed the space. “Electronic elements go with the angular edges found in the clothes,” he told WWD after the show.
“The music and a lot of the design remind me of Robert Longo‘s works and the ‘Pictures Generation’ as a whole, the vibe is purely New York City in the ‘80s,” said Philip Tinari, director at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.
For Mia Kong, the Shanghai-based influencer and stylist, casting made the day. She was able to let out her inner fangirl when she saw Liao Fan march down the runway. “The casting showed the intellectual side of China‘s celebrity scene,” Kong said.
“The casting is unexpected but makes total sense; it adds a renewed sense of fantasy to the clothes,” added Chinese designer Xander Zhou.
After the show, guests were ushered onto the back garden, a Chinese-style villa full of kiosks and corridors built atop serene fish ponds. Bathed in Prada’s pink florescent lighting, they nibbled on Prada-embossed ice creams and Beijing Rice Rolls while enjoying the lush scenery. “I think this is the first industry gathering for many people in a long time,” Zhou said. “At times like this, we need a chance to get together in real life.”
Prada’s Beijing event came at a time when the capital city still maintained strict COVID-19-related regulations to stay in line with the “dynamic zero” policy. Bars and music venues remain shuttered, while regular testing is required for people to enter public venues.
Prada became the first luxury brand to host a physical runway show in China this year. According to local industry insiders, Louis Vuitton might be the only other brand with plans to produce a fashion show in the country this year. — Denni Hu
MAKING WAVES: Eli Russell Linnetz’s big year rolls on: On Thursday, he debuted his first two ERL shops-in-shop. Both are in Japan and boast impressive blue Perspex fixtures that bring to mind waves — or a half-pipe.
The brand’s quirky California cool — Linnetz is based in Venice Beach — can now be discovered in a 915-square-foot setup at the Fujii Daimaru department store in Kyoto, and a 315-square-foot corner at Dover Street Market Ginza in Tokyo. Sloping rails allow Linnetz to display clothing for children at one end; for adults at the other.
“These spectacular designs symbolize the vision and creative talents of Eli,” enthused Adrian Joffe, chief executive officer of Dover Street Market and president of Comme des Garçons International, also letting slip that a third ERL shop will debut next month at Dover Street Market in Beijing, which is moving to a larger location near The Forbidden City.
ERL falls under the brand umbrella of Dover Street Market Paris, the wholly owned subsidiary of Comme des Garçons that nurtures a clutch of labels operating under various business arrangements. These also include Weinsanto, Vaquera, Paccbet, Youths in Balaclava, Liberal Youth Ministry and Honey F–king Dijon.
“We are proud to accompany ERL on its ever-ascending path,” Joffe added.
To be sure, these are heady days for Linnetz, who won a Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize at the 2022 LVMH Prize for Young Designers last June, and teamed up with Kim Jones on Dior menswear’s resort collection, paraded in his hometown in May.
He launched his ERL brand, initially focused on menswear, for the fall 2020 season.
“For me, ERL is about color, texture, and happiness, and I wanted to keep the designs of the spaces minimal so all focus remains on the collections, which tell so many stories about California and where I’m from,” Linnetz said about the new shops-in-shop.
He noted that each space “will constantly be changing, possibly multiple times a week” so people will get fully immersed — “even lost,” he offered — in his Venice Beach vibe. — Miles Socha
PINK IMPRESSIONS: Valentino created a landmark moment for Pink PP, its house hue for the fall 2022 collection, in China, dressing all the contestants at the final of the popular reality show “Sisters Who Make Waves,” which aired on Friday night.
In an image trending across Chinese social media channels, the 17 finalists, who are some of the hottest singers and dancers in Chinese popular culture, posed together on the stage, showcasing looks from the brand’s instantly iconic collection.
The hashtag “Sisters Who Make Waves Final” has so far logged more than 130 million impressions and 44,000 posts on Weibo, and the Valentino outfits were widely discussed among fans and online spectators.
Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino, told WWD earlier that Pink PP is a new Pantone color he created, and confessed that he “wanted to work like a monochromatic artist” for the fall 2022 season.
“When looking at one color, you have to go deeper than the surface, to texture, cuts, silhouette, volume and detail.…Pink is a color I really like, and it’s also a color that can have different sides,” he added.
Now in its third season, “Sisters Who Make Waves” features 30 female celebrities over the age of 30 competing each season against each other and fighting for a spot in the debut girl group to be formed at the final.
Many celebrities, who have not been as in demand as before, managed to revive their careers after participating in this reality show and gained new followers among the younger audience.
For example, Cyndi Wang, who began her career as a singer in Taiwan two decades ago, became an online phenomenon in China this season, after her debut performance on the show went viral on Weibo and Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
Wang, who wore a pink feather dress from Valentino, was named the annual champion at the final.
She will become a member of the brand new girl group Xsister alongside Jessica Jung, a former member of the South Korean girl group Girls’ Generation, Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung from the Hong Kong girl group Twins, dancer Tang Shiyi, singers Fiona Sit, Amber Kuo, Yu Wenwen, Tan Weiwei, and actress Crystal Zhang. — Tianwei Zhang
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