Designs with social content

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 May, 2011, 12:00am


For Kapture Chiu Yu-hang, fashion is more than just trendy clothes. It is his medium of choice to explore social issues.

'I express my thoughts and social commentary through clothes,' says the 24-year-old assistant fashion designer who works at the product development department of South Grand Fashions Garment.

For instance, his knitwear design project for graduation at Nottingham Trent University last year featured abstract crochet motifs and wavy patterns meant to draw attention to the mounting stress in modern society.

At an early age, Chiu found he had a great passion and talent for drawing. He doodled designs on his sister's Barbie doll.

He later developed a deep interest in fashion. 'I was completely captivated by the fashion shows on TV,' he says.

His uncle, whose hobby was painting, also influenced him to become a designer.

How have you benefited from participating in various design competitions?

I was an introvert before entering the REMIX Fur Design Competition in Milan two years ago. Meeting a lot of people there made me sociable.

Because it was the first time a Hong Kong designer won the Gold Award, my school took the opportunity to promote its design programme.

The winning piece was a mink jacket titled 'wilted wood' - one of my graduation projects at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education. It helped me land a job.

After my sketches were chosen by the judges, I started working with a local fur coat maker that eventually sponsored my designs.

Why did you choose knitwear for your degree project and launch your career at a knitwear firm?

Knitwear presents unlimited creative possibilities.

It can produce many different visual effects through a combination of patterns and motifs.

What are the main challenges you have encountered so far?

Initially, I struggled with designs for men which my supervisor found too feminine. Men's wear should be less fancy. I did more research and came up with subdued styles.

What is your advice for students of fashion design in Hong Kong?

They should keep in mind that fashion design is a delicate balance between creativity and commercial elements. They have to understand that the theatricality in fashion shows is meant to grab attention.

Many highly successful fashion designers apply their well-honed skills in simplifying fantastic designs you see on the runway into highly wearable clothes.

Capturing the limelight

Kapture Chiu received a higher diploma in fashion design and product development programme from the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), Kwai Chung, in 2009.

Chiu won the Gold Award in the 2009 REMIX Fur Design Competition held in Milan, Italy.

He completed a top-up degree in fashion design offered by Nottingham Trent University, Britain, in May last year in partnership with IVE.