“This could possibly be an experience of a lifetime!” quipped 22-year-old Chloe Ng, the first-ever Singaporean to be asked to walk the runway for Dolce & Gabbana’s The Great Show. I've been flown up to Shanghai for Chloe's debut, and to write this exclusive story, which has turned out to be quite different from what we both expected. The lights were set, racks were ready, but everything caved in during the final hours of the show today. Here's what happened—as told to me by Chloe.
11:15am “Fittings for the show! Stefano Gabbana pins me up in this gold ensemble. It's stunning."
1:48pm “I’m at the private Alta Moda luncheon held in the private suites of the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Shanghai. I've always had an affinity for fairy tales and this dress looks like what a modern princess would wear.”
1.54pm “Giuseppina Cannizzaro, cousin of Stefano Gabbana lets me try on her amazing necklace at the luncheon, while mummy is looking at fine jewellery.”
2.33pm “Fixing my lippie! Excited because I am heading straight for rehearsals for #DGTheGreatShow in a few hours."
7.38pm “After almost an hour in the cab, Singapore Tatler fashion director Desmond and I are finally at the show venue!”
8pm “It wasn’t an easy task getting around backstage. No one knew what was happening, it was all kind of confusing. After a good 45 minutes, here we are at the main stage watching the first batch of models being corrected on their turns.”
9.20pm “We are so hungry! Breaking into models' cafeteria and steal ourselves some erm… grapes.”
10pm “Our turn at last! We were handed this piece of walking instructions.”
10:08pm “Chatting up a fellow model while in the queue. Also dead confused at this point.”
10:20pm “Note to self: always make a right turn at every point!"
11pm “Bye Felicia. I am too tired to stay for the second rehearsal.
9am “It’s the day of the show! Packing some essentials for the long day ahead as the full dress rehearsal is happening in two hours even though the show only starts at 9.30pm. That’s a 10-hour wait.”
11:22am “Here’s my tag. We close the last section of the show, called the Chinese New Year where I was told that a gold backdrop would come on with gilded dragons and mirrors. Sounds amazing!”
2:45pm “I’m in slight shock. News just broke that the Dolce & Gabbana show has been cancelled by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Shanghai after the designer went on a cultural misappropriation rant on Instagram. Some people are saying the account was hacked and this is all a mistake. Is this seriously happening?”
3pm “It’s mayhem. I’m just standing here looking at all of this happening and it feels unreal. The other society kids like me who are walking the show are now leaving. I’m guessing it’s because their parents are the who’s who in China and Hong Kong, and they have to take a stand in this matter.”
3:14pm “Actress Zhang Ziyi just went onto her Weibo account to say she would never wear anything from D&G from now on. Straight after that, models started leaving the backroom because the modelling agencies just called to pull out the models. This is serious …”
3:30pm “OK, yes, the show has been cancelled. The back room is almost empty. In just 30 minutes, this room has gone from a bustling madhouse to a ghost town. I’m not going to lie – this is disappointing. I was so excited about walking my first show but I guess it wouldn’t have felt right walking the show anyway. Sigh, this could have been amazing…“