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Thank you for letting me fly

By Mark Graham | China Daily | Updated: 2014-02-16 08:35

Thank you for letting me fly

Designer Zhang Huishan brings a particularly subtle sensibility to the concept of blending elements of East and West in his fashion designs. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A young Chinese fashion designer's talent was spotted early and he is now wowing the world with his creations. Mark Graham reports.

Fashion insiders marked Zhang Huishan out as a designer to watch some time ago, praising his subtle and elegant way of integrating Chinese elements and motifs into stylish contemporary clothing.

Now, thanks to the awarding of a major international fashion prize, his name will have much more resonance in the mainstream, ensuring sustained demand for Zhang's dresses, jackets, skirts and blouses, all made in Qingdao in Shandong province.

Zhang, who was born and raised in the East China port city, designs the garments at his base in London, but insists on having them made in China. It is an unusual arrangement but allows the rising fashion star to boast that all his garments are made by Chinese craftsmen and artesans.

"I want to have a Chinese identity," he says. "I think fashion is one way of showing the world how China is changing.

"Qingdao is focused on manufacturing for Japanese and (South) Korean companies, so there are very good-quality factories and good-quality fabric. The lace we have is all made in Qingdao."

Zhang recently picked up the Dorchester Collection fashion prize, a hugely prestigious award that the hotel group bestows every year, along with a 25,000-pound ($41,000) cash prize.

"Zhang Huishan will undoubtedly have a thriving career, as have the previous winners," says Christopher Cowdray, Dorchester Collection's chief executive officer.

Receiving the award is a reward for long years of hard work, and occasional disappointment.

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