On the morning of what was supposed to be Dolce & Gabbana’s Great Show in Shanghai, around 300 semi-nude models huddled together on a giant gold stage, their feet decked in flip-flops, the angular curves of clavicles sometimes visible underneath their black-silk dressing gowns. I was one of them. The runway included three catwalks that forked between a giant letter D and a giant letter G, connected in the centre by a glittering golden heart. We were set to walk a dizzying pattern, tracing the lines of the letters, pausing at the apex of their curlicues. We were to do this while avoiding Chinese acrobats and dancers, confetti and smoke machines, and during the finale, something ominously referred to as cold fireworks. The director for the show was already losing her voice. As she barked orders through a headset it wasn’t clear whether it was static or her cracking vocal cords that made it so hard to hear her. Backstage, a Chinese dragon curled lazily on the floor, its tongue lolling out to the side of its mouth as if it had already had enough. We’d rehearsed until nearly 2am the night before, and had been here for around two hours already this morning. It was a Wednesday, a light drizzle pattering outside. We had walked the runway once in our flip-flops, the stage still covered in a thin plastic sheet to prevent scuff marks. It was technically the dress rehearsal, but we’d been asked to change out of the clothes we’d arrived in, so it felt more like an undressed rehearsal. Read more at Dazed.