Style guru unveils two decades of fashion wisdom
with Andrew Sun. Additional reporting by Clara Mak and Phoebe Cheng
If anyone is qualified to comment on Hong Kong fashion, it's Winifred Lai Kin-wai (right). Over the last two decades, the savvy style arbiter was chief editor for magazines like Amoeba and izzue.com and a prolific writer of fashion columns. Now, she's collected her experience in a book in Chinese called My Fashion Moments 87-07.
'What fascinates me most about fashion is its transformation power,' Lai explained. 'Different outfits can transform a person. You can be more seductive or more sophisticated depending on what you wear. But there is a difference between the real fashion experts and those who claim they are. Real experts not only master looks and forms, but also bring out a person's soul.'
She cites the clothing of stars like the late Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing, Carina Lau Ka-ling and Maggie Cheung Man-yuk who defined themselves by their fashion, which contrasted to the current approach of plastering yourself in brand names.
'I used to dislike brand names because I thought wearing a big logo just told people where you bought your clothes. In the old days, designers treated their designs like unique pieces of art. Now, you can just buy the same thing everywhere. I'm not in any position to judge but it is an understandable change in the industry. No doubt, fashion is now accessible to more people.'
Lai's book is out now at Lane Crawford.