Huishan Zhang: Dorchester winner

A dream come true

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We thought Huishan Zhang seemed quietly confident when we interviewed him in the run-up to the Dorchester Collection Fashion Priz3 2013 final. Turns out, his coolness was an omen: last night, he was awarded the grand prize.

Describing the moment as ‘unreal’, the London-based one-to-watch – who bags a £25,000 prize, as well as one-to-one mentoring and a break at one of the Collection’s hotels – told us: ‘It’s recognition at an international level. It’s support like this that encourages me to carry on with my dream. Literally, it means so much to me.

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‘My dream is to make couture alive again, to modernise it, to make it accessible again. It’s for a woman who appreciates modernity and craftsmanship.’

It’s a vision that sat well with the judging panel – among them, some of the industry’s most high-profile influencers, including Stephen Jones, Stephen Webster, Rupert Sanderson, Daniella Helayel and Caroline Issa – who almost unanimously decreed Zhang the victor.

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He showed a catwalk collection that featured ‘a good mix of past and present, really showing the continuation of the brand from where we started’, alongside specially-edited collections from fellow finalists Emilia Wickstead, Barbara Casasola and Fyodor Golan before the panel retired to thrash out the result.

And fitting the Dorchester Collection brief on the night was really what it came down to, Jones told us.

‘What it means is something which is refined and elegant, something creative, and Huishan really summed that up,’ he said.

Check out Zhang’s application video, below, to see where it all started.

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