Local talent strut their stuff

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 October, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 October, 1995, 12:00am

IT is a continuing struggle for Hong Kong designers to gain recognition locally. One annual event showcases some of the industry's feats and flops for the season to come.

The Hong Kong Fashion Design Association's show last Friday in the Regent Hotel highlights locally established designers and encourages newcomers to participate in the Young Talent and the YKK Fashion Design Awards. This year's theme was dubbed Once Upon A Time, an appropriate choice for most of the designer's 'retrospective' collections.

Naughty-boy genius Peter Lau started the show with his bright salute to Hong Kong sexiness. You can always spot a Peter Lau creation. Just look for red thigh-high stockings, ultra short (or ultra sheer, depending on the season) and visible knickers. That about sums up his Autumn collection.

Polly Kam did a striking collection of fancy dinner suits and dresses in an all white palette, which gave the collection almost a bridal feel. White silk trench coats topped satin baby-doll dresses that were trimmed in feathers.

Hong Kong veteran Walter Ma turned his talented hand back to the 70s for his funky separates. Striped mohair slip dresses hung shapelessly over long satin skirts and big collared shirts. A sexier choice was the men's cocoa brown, cut velvet suit in a skinny silhouette pared with a red ruffle shirt.

Laurence Tang, another design veteran, disappointed with his group of tight-fitting lace-inset column dresses. The problem is this: corset-back, halter neck dresses that hug the body and sweep the floor are fantastic. Silk satin is all right, but a gorgeous silhouette cut up with lace insets looks cheap and is a waste of a talented hand.

Allan Chiu stole the show by deserting his more traditional designs in favour of something amusing and fun (and also wearable - which is a difficult fashion feat).

His vintage Irma La Douce collection has grown since Fashion Week to include crocodile embossed patent leather A-line skirts and smallish fur-trimmed jackets.

Rowena U let her imagination run wild with a disappointing result. Bronze lame ballgowns were punctuated by enormous matching bows. Her finale dress was a bronze ballgown that appeared to be comprised of a collection of bronze wastepaper bins and was clearly unwearable if you planned on doing any walking.

Evening wear is always a sticky design situation. Glamorous can easily spill over into disastrous, and simple can be boring. But Lu Lu Cheung walked that line to perfection with a 50s inspired collection in black and white. A black satin tuxedo with a ruffle organza shirt made way for some gorgeous, sweeping ballgowns complete with matching stoles and satin portrait collars.

Fashion darling William Tang made a departure from his autumn collection with a group of sheer red lace separates. Red lace hipster flares were paired with fur trimmed vests or matching lace shirts, most dramatically on a male model probably felt slightly underdressed.

Best was his floor length pewter leatherette trenchcoat or the quilted black satin duster coats that had a timeless appeal, and a stylish edge.

Benny Yeung did an all red collection of stunning evening wear that went from Vegas to Vanity Fair in about three minutes flat. Red beaded bra tops with beaded fringe skirts gave way to chiffon ballgowns with sheer mesh insets and visible boning at the waists.