Fashion house Horace shuns mainland for Indonesia's hand-made look

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 December, 2010, 12:00am

Not all European fashion houses outsource manufacturing to factories in China. Although it was hard to spot a trace of Balinese influence in clothes made by the London-based fashion brand Horace, the design duo behind it has been operating studios in London and Bali for seven years.

'If you ask factories in China to produce printed T-shirts, they will make the fabric on a rotary [printing machine] and say the minimum quantity has to be 1,000 metres,' said Adam Entwisle, a Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design alumnus who is in town with design partner Emma Hales this week.

'But in Bali, we can create a collection that almost looks like we made it in a studio, with a hand-made touch. Those inconsistencies in colour and style make [the craftsmanship] real.'

Entwisle remembered when he first went to Bali to see the factory. 'At first I thought it was all rubbish. Their skills can be so naive and primitive. They didn't have industrial machines that we have here.'

Entwisle was glad he stayed on and gave it a shot. 'We worked with hand knits and batik printing. We have this almost antique colour and there are many unnoticed interesting things like this.'

For their five-day stay in Hong Kong, the jet-lagged designers still found time to walk around the fabrics market in Sham Shui Po.