Creative DNA

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 April, 2010, 12:00am

Pop-up shops come and go. Doors are opened, sales are clinched and buzz is created from the scheduled spontaneity. But then what?

LAByrinth, which kitted out a shop on Hollywood Road late last year with its science-meets-fashion jewellery and bags, has not been idle. In February, the Hong Kong-based company showed its designs at an exhibition titled 'Medicine and Art', at the Mori Art Museum, in Tokyo.

According to founder Elaine Young, whose 'lab' is part of biotech firm Hai Kang Life, LAByrinth has been busy putting together a clothing line and is planning its next guerrilla retailing venture, in London or New York, this year or next. Several of its designs can be seen at the company's new showroom, in Shau Kei Wan, including a leather and silk jacket that features a microscopic image of a honey bee (the jacket will be released in August).

Young, whose 'mission' is to make the beauty of science visible, has expanded her series of Amula personalised lockets, which contain DNA extracted from a plant, pet or person, in which case the first step involves taking a swab from inside the mouth. The Duos collection of vials (below; from US$520) comes in pairs 'for you to wear each other'.

'In Victorian times they made jewellery with hair,' Young says. 'This idea of taking something from someone and carrying that as a way to be close to them is the same sentiment. So instead of a picture or lock of hair, we're extracting DNA and putting that into jewellery.'

The startling Host series of microscopic pictures, including one of a flea, which adorn bags and accessories, such as laptop cases, can also be customised for homeware, cushions and blinds.

The LAByrinth showroom (by appointment only) is at 8/F, Hang Tung Resources Centre, 18A Kung Ngam Village Road, Shau Kei Wan, tel: 9121 9384; e-mail Products are also available at