• Wed
  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Updated: 3:08am

LAByrinth

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 November, 2010, 12:00am

Who started it? Chinese-Canadian designer and artist Elaine Young started LAByrinth in 2005 as a biotech fashion label and communications studio. Her obsession with bringing the arts and sciences together is evident in the LAByrinth project. 'We shape the things we build - thereafter, they shape us,' she says.

So far, this convergence of invention and innovation has produced two product ranges. One is Amula DNA jewellery, which contains lab-grown crystallised DNA of your choice: human, plant or animal. The other is Host, a small line of avant-garde clothing and accessories featuring blown-up microscopic prints of a honey bee (the Sting), a flea leg (the Cactus) and a cross section of an eyeball (the Retina). It might seem unsavoury but it's a great conversation starter.

Why we love it: it's unlike any brand we've seen. If surrealist artist H.R. Giger and experimental fashion designers Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh ever got busy, with the help of geneticists, this would be their brainy lovechild: inspired, intellectual and imaginative.

The Amula jewellery range offers the chance to wear your loved-one's crystallised DNA around your neck in a glass vial encased in silver, stainless steel or gold plate. (A mouth-swab DNA sample must be sent to the brand's biotech lab to be synthesized.) Also available are snake, tiger and horse DNA - for astrology buffs or animal lovers - although we don't recommend digging up dearly departed Fluffy for a sample.

LAByrinth's new Host leather bags feature the same blown-up microscopic prints as the laptop cases and wallets. The fashion items are dark, gothic and sculptural, in silk, cotton fleece and leather.

What we'd pick: the Sting bag (below; HK$4,700) is luxurious and oh so cool. It looks like nothing else on the market. And there's something darkly romantic about the Symbiosis necklaces (above; HK$4,000 a pair), a matching set of DNA necklaces for couples - it's the old Angelina and Billy Bob, but with more sophistication.

Where can you get it? the items are available at Kapok (5 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, tel: 2549 9254) or by appointment at LAByrinth Studios (8F, Hang Tung Resources Centre, 18 A-Kung Ngam Village Road, Shau Kei Wan, tel: 9121 9384).

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