Rising design stars make their mark at Tokyo Fashion Week
A group of up-and-coming designers headed to Tokyo Fashion Week recently to showcase their latest collections as part of an initiative by the non-profit Fashion Farm Foundation, which helps emerging local talent find new markets. Kylie Knott meets some of the creatives who made an impression
WHO Octology octocheung.com
WHAT "There's a sense of the poetic and antique that make the Octology man look unique," says Octo Cheung Yan-yu, a Hong Kong-born, London-based designer. A graduate of the Hong Kong Design Institute, she explores new knitwear and leather techniques. "It's all about being sophisticated and creative: the perfect cutting of a jacket, innovative knitwear techniques."
Cheung says she looks to the past. The 18th-century dandy is a great source of inspiration. "We take the traditional tailoring of Savile Row and combine it with quality worsted wool, washed silk and taffeta." The autumn-winter 2013-14 collection is all about beautifully tailored suits in tartan and tweed, silk cravats, pocket squares and bow ties. Everything sure is dandy.
Pieces from Octology designed by Octo Cheung.
WHO Glush (glush.co)
WHAT Founded by Grace Chan last year, Glush's first collection, Grassy, caught the attention of the international media. Grassy is a fun selection of accessories, including bags and clutches, covered in synthetic turf. For her new line, "0.", Chan used cork.
"My designs are for those who like to have fun - people who love being themselves. There's a little wit twisted into it.My mind's always open."
Chan says her label is for everyone:"For men, women, transsexuals,nerds or quirks." She has experimented with materials such as leather, metal and wood.
- Heaven Please, 7/F, 77-79 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
- Konzepp, 50 Tung Street, Central
- Daydream Nation Circus Shop, K-11 Select, Level 1, K-11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
- D-mop, 1/F, 11-15 On Lan Street, Central
WHO Créature de Keis
WHAT This label was established in 2006 by Kei Hui, a designer who mixes modern techniques and traditional workmanship. His clothes are factory-made and the handcrafted details are added in the studio. Hui says his signature look is "deconstruction, assembly and reconstruction."
Hui opened his first studio and store, Blouseripped, in 2009. Two years later, the studio expanded and moved to Wong Chuk Hang's industrial area and became a combined design, workshop and warehouse space.
As for the fashion scene here, Hui says more multibrand boutiques, such as Opening Ceremony and Colette, are needed. "I like the idea of mixed styles coming together in one space."
Hui describes the spring-summer 2014 collection as sporty chic combined with urban luxury. It is a look he says will continue to grow in popularity.
- Magenta, shop F-10, 1/F Fashion Walk, 19 Great George Street, Causeway Bay
- Liger, 1/F, 11 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay
- Off the Wall, 4/F, 18 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay
- Walk on Water, 2/F, 14 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay
WHO ZO-EE zoeebyzoe.com
WHAT Established in 2011, ZO-EE is all about modern accessories. Designer Zoe Siu uses hand-crafted techniques, including loops and knots, to make bold, playful accessories in bright palettes.
"My accessories appeal to people who like detail and who like handcrafted stuff," says Siu. She has released three collections, all featuring knotting techniques.
Her autumn-winter 2013 collection, Loop A Dream, combined chunky rope knots, metals and finer, brightly coloured ropes in a series of novel objects, including bookmarks and key holders.
"Give A Little Love", the spring-summer 2014 collection, takes inspirationfrom sailor's valentine - a shellcraft used in antiques - and features ivory and pastel colours.
Siu's designs are on sale in Taipei, Shanghai and Macau but she has an eye on Europe. "And it would be great to one day collaborate with a big name … maybe Martin Margiela. It's an extreme idea, though."
- Nitti-gritti, 105, Sun Hing Back Street, Cheung Chau
- Also at Daydream Nation and Heaven Please
Two more to watch
Too Good Design
Born and raised in Hong Kong, design duo Chen Dao and Edmond Kok target "Generation Young, Hip and Cool", and their work is heavy on experimentation. They say their bicultural upbringing in the former British colony has influenced the development of their avant-garde Eastern designs. toogood.com.hk
This womenswear label, named after its creator, puts the smart in casual. The London College of Fashion graduate worked for Peter Jensen in Britain before returning to Hong Kong in 2010. Tao started the label this year. vanessatao.com