Worldly Aspirations: HKTDC's Fashion Hong Kong Campaign In London Fashion Week
Lighting up the stage at London Fashion Week is the stuff of designers’ dreams. Since the glamorous event kicked off in 1984, an incredible roll call of global talent, including John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, have debuted there, launching their careers and rocketing to international star status.
At the autumn/winter 2019 London Fashion Week, four of Hong Kong’s most creative designers—Cynthia Mak, Doris Kath Chan, Polly Ho and Yeung Chin—advanced their lofty ambitions with a showcase of the latest collections for their labels, respectively, DorisKath, House of V, Loom Loop and Yeung Chin.
The couture-loving quartet presented their collections at the Fashion Hong Kong Fashion Presentation & Cocktail Reception, as part of a series of international events in London, New York, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Shanghai organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to promote homegrown talent. This is the second year for the Fashion Hong Kong campaign to take the city’s brands to London Fashion Week.
Held at The College, the former home of Central Saint Martins, in London in February, the event attracted a flock of industry insiders. Fashion Hong Kong’s leading-edge presentation, which incorporated a cavalcade of art installations, music, drama and performance art, was one of Fashion Week’s most anticipated events, attracting more than 850 retail buyers, as well as press, influencers, celebrities, VIPs and style mavens.
Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, DJ Siobhan Bell, UK model Bee Beardsworth, and Izzy B Phillips from rock band Black Honey were among the industry heavyweights and celebrities adding to the sparkle, while international fashion media and local fashion influencers included the Business of Fashion and Women’s Wear Daily.
At the London presentation, Hong Kong’s fashion foursome took their rightful place on the international stage of creativity, with the designers showcasing their own unique looks while together highlighting the multifaceted and diverse talent of local designers.
Doris Kath Chan founded DorisKath in 2014 and is well known among the local celebrities in Hong Kong for her simple yet elegant designs. Her autumn/winter 2019 collection, “M.E.”, takes its inspiration from the mirror stage concept of French psychologist Jacques Lacan. Drawing on Lacan’s theory of what is real and what is imaginary based on looking in a mirror, Chan’s collection avoids stereotypes, artfully combining both feminine and masculine design elements.
Cynthia Mak, who has worked at international brands such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, currently collaborates with House of V on a range of innovative designs. The label’s autumn/winter 2019 collection, “The New Winter Manual”, pays tribute to Damien Hirst’s spot paintings, with colourful round buttons on the cuffs of shirts and outerwear adding dimension to the minimalistic silhouettes.
See also: The Tatler 10: Cynthia Mak of Cynthia & Xiao
The creative mind behind the label Loom Loop, award-winning designer Polly Ho presented a radiant convergence of Hong Kong’s Eastern and Western cultures. Titled “Concrete Jungle”, the collection showcases both solid colours and animal and floral prints on kimono dresses and other garments in a palette ranging from pastel pink and forest green to canary yellow and Chinese red.
Yeung Chin, who established his eponymous brand in 2013, took an unconventional approach for his “Utopia” collection, incorporating music, drama and illustrations, as well as tattooed and silver-haired models to showcase his dark, oversized, asymmetric designs. Inspired by controversial scenes from the 1974 Italian psychodrama The Night Porter and 2018 American spy thriller Red Sparrow, the show curated a vision of inclusivity and diversity while creating a unique and stimulating experience for the audience.
See also: 40 Asian Women Making Waves In The Fashion World