Behind The Scenes: Adrian Cheng's Tatler Hong Kong Cover Portrait
For our November issue, Tatler creative director Miguel Mari collaborated with Adrian Cheng’s team on an ambitious cover concept: to feature Adrian alongside nine creatives who contributed to the realisation of K11 Musea. Working under geographical, travel, and time constraints—gathering 10 very busy and important people from far-flung corners of the Earth in one place at one time for one photoshoot was… well, we tried—Miguel proposed an illustration, one of the few hand-drawn covers in Hong Kong Tatler history.
Tatler commissioned Marc Aspinall, a UK-based illustrator whose work has appeared in publications such as Wired, the Telegraph and the Washington Post, and who derives inspiration from the styling of the midcentury golden era of design. Working off of a robust selection of images and a dossier filled with personality profiles and other research, Marc constructed a fictional cocktail party of luminaries.
“For this piece, there was the challenge of including recognisable people, ensuring they are visible whilst also weaving them into a believable scene,” Aspinall says. “I roughed figures out, then got to work with filming myself making small talk, hands in pockets, holding wine glasses, taking on the role of people in the scene. It’s all quite peculiar to observe!
“The colour was largely dictated by K11 reference photos—the amazing materials, the vast space interacting harmoniously to create a beautiful and copper-like glow. I think evening dinner and drinks scenes often look more inviting when the lights are low. So to imagine the natural hues of the room met with low-level lighting had me arrive at this solution.”
The result of nearly three months of long-distance constant communication, back-and-forth edits, and international collaboration across a dozen or more time zones is what you hold in your hands right now—individual portraits accompanying Oliver Giles’ feature, and a chic, retro-evocative illustrated cover, a vignette of an imaginary moment, the most beautiful drinks party there ever was, set under the rich brass atrium lights of Adrian’s Victoria Dockside masterpiece.
READ OUR COVER STORY WITH ADRIAN CHENG