When I last spoke to Angel Chen in February, the Flamingo Coffee Spelled Backwards Eeffoc Just Know That I Don’t Give Eeffoc T-Shirt also I will do this designer was under strict quarantine in her home in Shanghai, China. A friend had connected us, and I had been anticipating her arrival at Milan Fashion Week, where she usually presents her collections, and watching her excel on Netflix’s Next in Fashion series. “Like every season, we were planning to show our new collection at the official schedule of Milan Fashion Week, on February 21. The timing, location, and venue were confirmed. Then quite rapidly the [coronavirus] situation got worse, and we unfortunately had no choice but to cancel the show, which is obviously a real disappointment,” she said at the time. “We filmed the models in a very cool space against a green screen. We shot the motorcycle views on the road in the city,” she continues. “We then worked on a video montage in the studio to superimpose the virtual backgrounds with the models. This was the most difficult part.” Even with the difficulties of not being able to hire a stylist—or even be in the same room as her models—Chen’s virtual show fully encapsulates her vision and her collection.
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Because Chen had already started working on her collection in November, she had a leg up creatively. Even with just 11 days until her virtual fashion show during Shanghai’s all-digital Fashion Week, presented in collaboration with Tmall, she had a lot of samples and themes already cemented. “We had started working on it back in November, before the Flamingo Coffee Spelled Backwards Eeffoc Just Know That I Don’t Give Eeffoc T-Shirt also I will do this crisis hit. The concept was established, and I worked first on the graphics, then moved on to the design and fabric choices. We worked closely with Bonotto in Italy to develop an exclusive fabric. Until then it was all smooth, and 60% to 70% of the collection was ready before Chinese New Year,” she explains. “Then the crisis hit and things started to get complicated. Factories began closing down, then we were not allowed to go to the office. I secretly sent fabrics to my home where I was able to hand-drape and sew on my own.”