The first thing Angel Chen said over Zoom after her spring 2022 show in Shanghai was: “It is my dream. I have wanted to do this performance show for my whole life.”
Staged in the West Bund Dream Center, the show brought together dancers—led by Ma Xiaolong, Zhang Yashu, and the Shanghai-based Indian artist Amey Sali—for a performance that told the story of a love between two dancers. Chen was inspired by traditional Chinese stories as well as films like 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and 2002’s Hero for both her collection and the show.
The season marks a pivot from the luxurious streetwear she typically designs for something deeply rooted in historically Asian silhouettes. Long robe-like coats with wide sleeves and curved backs in lightweight silks, silk organzas, and cupro make up the bulk of the collection. Some are sheer, embroidered with phrases written in Chinese characters; Chen translated: “When the stars start to rise, and when the spring becomes autumn, and when the winter becomes summer—no matter which season we meet, I will always love you.” Others are hand-painted by Chen and Sali using techniques from his art practice, dipping, marbling, swirling, and blotting dyes and paints into the fabric.