Hong Kong designers are starting to look for inspiration closer to home rather than abroad
Hong Kong’s inspiration for fashion has taken a shift. For the longest time, many of the city’s emerging designers admired and were influenced by designs that came from the holy trinity of fashion capitals – London, Paris and Milan. But now, the directions of the winds have changed. In conjunction with China’s rising dominance on the world stage, local designers have begun to look inward and into their own heritage as a source of inspiration to create a more diverse and inclusive, global fashion industry. A few homegrown heroes that are spearheading the movement are Kay Li, Yat Pit, Cynthia & Xiao and Loom Loop.
It goes without saying that marriage can be a daunting experience filled with contradicting feelings of joy and fear. Now, picture if you met your betrothed for the very first time on the night of your wedding. It’s a scary thought, but this was the situation for many Chinese women during the times of imperial China and it was imagining what these women for experiencing that inspired designer Kay Li
to design her latest, environmentally-friendly AW17 collection titled, ‘The Great Expectation’, which she presented at the Copenhagen Fashion Week. Li combined the feelings of sadness, fear, anger and joy of the uncertain wife to be, to create a mascu-feminine collection with laser cut dresses mimicking patterns of traditional Chinese window panels onto asymmetrical dresses, long tunics and trousers. Vibrant red and blue hues are used in the collection to symbolise celebration, whereas high collars and waist fastenings represent reminders of the shackles of oppression that were, and still face women today. The overall, looks, however, are strong and represent the forward-thinking, independent woman that remembers the past as means to fight for a better future.