Local producers seeking more public recognition

TOP-RANKED fashion production is a long-standing tradition in Hongkong, and producers now want recognition from the buying public as well as the industry, and are looking to market their capabilities under their own names.

To encourage the development of own-label ranges, a Hongkong Labels Show has been introduced to Hongkong Fashion Week.

Competition from low-end garment producers such as Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Turkey, plus a decrease in demand from North America and the European Community, helped persuade Hongkong manufacturers to re-work their priorities.

Many Hongkong fashion designers and producers are collaborating on a new-found scale to manufacture contemporary wear collections to rival Europe's prime producers.

Ten companies with their own-label collections will present their different fashion interpretations and signature style.

Garments all reflect the diverse capabilities of the local fashion industry, ranging from casual co-ordinates to executive suits, chic cocktail ensembles and glamorous evening gowns.

Inspiration for the labels come from varied sources - from ancient Greek architecture, romantic poets - whose styles are ''reminiscent of the high societies of the past'' and the Victorian period - to the swinging 1960s, Broadway showbusiness, jockey's costumes and, in this green age, the environment.

A sleek silhouette prevails, interpreted in a variety of styles, using silk, wool, linen, velvet, and wool mix, intricate embroidery. Multi-coloured sequins and beading lavishly decorate the party wear, creating a sophisticated and elegant mood.

The question of skirt length is solved -long and short co-exist, or there is an alternative with wide-legged pants, teamed with tailored jackets designed to extremes - in either feminine or ultra-manly cuts.

Boo Gie Garment Factory has launched the ''Boo Gie'' label. Designed by Ike Wong, it features slimline ladies wear in black, grey, yellow and white.

Adorned with embroidery and beadings, the collection includes fitted suits, blouses and vests in linen, wool and silk.

The range is exported to the US, Italy, Far East, Spain and France.

The ''Cadeau'' label from Cadeau Co turned back the clock to find its inspiration in the 1960s. Bell-bottom pants, tight-fitted jackets, long and lean skirts with splits, shorts and padded casual coats for his and hers.

Stylish executives are catered for with silk blouses in beige, woollen suits and jackets in grey and yellow. Major markets for Cadeau include Japan, US and Germany.

''Romantic Poets'' is the theme behind Highborn Co's S & P label, designed by Ophelia Wan and Jessica Yip.

The collection combines the modern look with the stylish chic of high society in the past.

Woven and leather garments come in various silhouettes: long and lean, fitted and feminine, as well as A-line.

Colourful plaids, navy, terracotta and black are the colours, and fake fur, ruffles and frills add interest to collar design.

Grace Gorton Enterprises Co's ''Grace Gorton'' label was designed by Grace Yu, and includes a jacket and cocktail wear collection in wool crepe and washable silk.

In navy and grey/blue, the range is highlighted with sequins and denotes subtle elegant chic. Cut femininely, the designs are exported to Southeast Asia.

The catchword for the ''Biba'' label from Biba Fashion is classical.

The red, yellow, green and black ladies' range features jackets, skirts, pants and blouses.

The label, available locally, is also exported to Southeast Asia, China and North America.

Manful Beaded Fashion launched its Manful Label with an opulently beaded and embroidered collection designed by Chan Ku Yin Kui.

Clothes created from luxurious silk chiffon are full of flair and glamour. Japan, Europe and the US are Manful's major markets.

Fittingly for Hongkong, where horse racing is big business, the Lazzari label designed by Zanio Chu for Mirage Fashion is inspired by a jockey's costume.

The ladies' co-ordinates collection cuts a body-hugging silhouette in black, red, brown and off-white wool gabardine, velvet and printed silk. The label is available in France, Italy, Spain, China and Hongkong.

Plexon drew inspiration from the environment and everyday life for its Matador label, which offers ladies clothes in green, grey, grape, black and off-white.

Long and slimlines characterise the range, which is available locally and exported to Asia and North America.

Three heads are better than one as far as Starlink Development is concerned. Its Peak label was co-designed by John Mills Laing, Joe Au and Major Lam.

Topstyle International Holdings presents the Lulu Bravo label designed by Sunny Leigh.

The party wear collection is characterised by soft and feminine lines in wool gabardine, silk, satin, wool crepe, and silk chiffon.

Silk and satin trimmings, and gold embroidery top off a glamorous effect.