A new crop of young talents flexed their creative muscles at the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest 2019 held on September 7, impressing the audience with their unique visions to balance originality and marketability.
Out of 16 finalists, three winners were chosen to receive five awards by the panel of judges comprising VIP Judge Mihara Yasuhiro, as well as renowned media, stylists and industry professionals. With a balance of womenswear and menswear, from streetwear to edgier pieces, these designers together staged a spectacular showcase of the level of talents Hong Kong has to offer.
The finalists found inspirations from unlikely places, from baseball gears to crisscrossing highways, from a discussion of queer to more philosophical musings. They presented drastically different aesthetics but their originality, attention to detail as well as excellent workmanship often belied their youthful years.
Entitled “Forgetful Still”, Yip has created a collection that addresses his own forgetfulness. He calls it an aesthetic of absentmindedness. The structure of clothing is redesigned down to the smallest details. The oversized silhouette and eye-catching spray stain-shaped appliques denote clumsiness but the belt in each outfit also allows for an optional smarter look.
The collars and hoods of the jackets are detachable, while buttonholes can be used to attach different accessories or keys. The baggy trousers are especially feature-rich, with details such as multiple pockets, exposed or frayed seams and lining, and magnetic buttons that automatically snap into place to avoid the embarrassment of the open fly.
As the YDC Champion, Yip has been rewarded with an internship at the studio of Mihara Yasuhiro, the Japanese designer label known for its popular sneakers and clothing collections.
The white sneakers that he created for this collection also won him the Best Footwear Design Award. As a prize, he will work with i.T Limited to launch a shoe collection based on this design.
This menswear collection, titled “Already but not yet”, explores the process of design by blurring the boundaries between a finished work and unfinished garment, inside and outside, front and back, matt and glossy. You are also left to ponder how to classify each item. Is it a a top or a coat?
Chow takes familiar silhouettes and adds new twists, like blazer with shoulders that expose the lining, attached with a quilted scarf. A deconstructed trench coat uses interfacing materials with hand-stitched plaid patterns, while a two-way quilted coat/cape is also made from interfacing fabrics with quilted houndstooth pattern, which is an important motif throughout the collection. The trousers feature asymmetrical hems that again, highlight this inside-out aesthetic.
Chow’s first runner-up prize includes a study trip abroad.
“1996" is the title of this collection and the year that Chan was born. This menswear collection, filled with memories, symbolises his life journey. Personal photographs are digitally enhanced and turned into embroidery on t-shirts and jackets, which are teemed with details inside and out. The level of care and their prominence show how Chow treasures these memories. The oversized silhouette, multiple layers and subdued grey tones come from Chan’s personal style, while the use of dusty pink is an attempt to inject a sense of youth and vitality. The mix of fabrics is equally diverse, with suiting fabrics, knits and corduroy creating strong textural contrasts.
Chan has made an unusual styling choice of pairing oversized tops with baggy bottoms which he has handled with aplomb. The big sacks are practical while giving off a feel of a voyager.
As recipient of the New Talent Award, Chan will be developing a commercial version of this collection in collaboration with JOYCE Boutique to be made available for sale at the renowned retailer.