Eye on style
Hongkongers do many things well, but cheap and chic clothing is not one of them. While well-dressed locals love anything to do with designer fashion, our high street comes up short when compared to American and European counterparts. One exception is the very cool, casual and edgy Izzue brand which is part of the I.T retail empire. The line (right), designed by a team of locals, started making waves in Europe last year when it was launched exclusively at Galeries Lafayette in Paris to much fanfare. In early July it will launch at Galeries Lafayette in Berlin then at the multi-brand boutique Luisa Via Roma in Milan. It's nice to know that homegrown brands are finally making some noise globally. Go team!
Also making waves on the world scene is LF USA, a subsidiary of Hong Kong sourcing giant Li & Fung Ltd. The group recently announced plans to launch lifestyle brand, The Rachel Zoe collection, marking its debut in the celebrity designing world. Zoe (below right) is not the first stylist to launch her own fashion line, but she is definitely the most high profile, having styled celebrities such as Nicole Richie, Demi Moore and Cameron Diaz. The line will launch in autumn 2011 and will include shoes, accessories and apparel. Let's hope the partnership is more fruitful than her friendship with Lindsay Lohan.
While Zoe's success is yet to be determined, everyone is buzzing about the upcoming collaboration between Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens and American clothing brand Theory, launching this autumn. It may seem an odd fit considering that Theyskens made his name with romantic couture-inspired evening gowns for brands such as Nina Ricci, but the designer says he was craving a move into more 'accessible' fashion. Is this the future for designers? Who knows, but we haven't been this excited about anything since Jil Sander joined Uniqlo.
Another big event on the fashion schedule is the twice-yearly Haute Couture show, which kicks off in Paris in July. Hordes of mainland billionaires and Saudi princesses are expected to drop hundreds of thousands of euros on just one outfit (custom made of course!), making it the creme de la creme of fashion events. This time, however, there will be a slight change to the schedule: Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci is forgoing a big runway show for private appointments instead. Tisci also plans to pare down the collection to 10 looks, installing them in an opulent 18th-century town house on the Place Vend?me, according to Women's Wear Daily. While some critics have called this a cost-saving measure, Tisci asserts it will cost 35 per cent more than a runway show. Who says couture is dead?