Models pushed to their limits in Taiwanese designer's weighty tribute to Year of the Dragon
It takes a brave model to strut her stuff in the elaborate creations of Taiwanese designer Kang Yen-ling.
Part-costume, part-art installation, Kang's work demands meticulous balance and footwork, a combination on show when his Soaring Lady Dragon 'outfit' was paraded as part of the Auspicious Fashion Installation Art Exhibition in Causeway Bay's World Trade Centre mall.
The creation weighs in at more than 40kg - not much less than some of the models - and features a seven-metre-long 'dragon tail'.
Designed as a tribute to the Year of the Dragon, the look features golden embroidery and more than 1,000 gemstones to suggest the scales of the dragon. It is topped with a pointed headpiece adorned with gemstones, red feathers and claw-like wings.
But it is still not the complete vision.
'It still has to be finished - it should be topped with a lavish cloak, but the model can't walk in it because of venue constraints,' the 46-year-old Kang said.
'This isn't even the heaviest one - I created an 80kg piece for the Taipei flora expo, which truly does test the model's limits.'
Kang started in the business almost three decades ago at 16 and was soon designing ready-to-wear lines and wedding gowns.
At 23, he headed to Japan for six years of further study before returning to Taiwan to focus on fashion art pieces that he continues to specialise in.
The dragon piece is complemented by five others from another collection Kang created to represent the five elements of Chinese philosophy.
Jewellery from the line Desire by Mandy Lau are also on display.