K11 mall taps Canto-pop composer Mark Lui for fashion art exhibition

Lui, who had his own menswear brand for a time, designs T-shirt collection for show which also features the work of Hong Kong fashion designers Kay Kwok and ‘upcycler’ Toby Crispy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 12:09pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 12:09pm

Prolific Canto-pop composer Mark Lui Chung-tak has always been interested in fashion – interested enough to start his own clothing brand, which he did several years ago.

“I had to close it down because doing retail in Hong Kong is very hard,” he says. But he’s still designing clothes, and is among the contributors to Fashion Muse, an exhibition and pop-up store in the K11 shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Mark Lui prefers to live in the moment

“I always liked fashion, and I always put craftsmanship in my designs. People can see the effort you put in your designs,” Lui says.

His Fashion Muse T-shirt collection stands out for its vibrant use of colours. “I believe colours are a very important factor,” he says. “They make you happy and put you in a good mood.”

The T-shirts use two basic designs. “There’s a French guy on one T-shirt because Agnès B [who Lui collaborated with] is a French brand and there’s a Chinese guy because we’re in Hong Kong.”

Having designed the T-shirts on an iPad, it didn’t take long for him to figure out the graphics. “The execution of design is the easy part,” he says. “It’s the idea generation that takes time.”

It’s the first time he has designed T-shirts. “The T-shirt is the simplest form of clothing. It’s totally different from designing menswear collections [for his abortive fashion line Coolday, Sir]. Filling a T-shirt with graphics is simple, but filling a T-shirt with graphics that people will like is not.”

His creations feature alongside those of fashion designers Kay Kwok Tsz-fung, Briton Leanne Claxton, and Toby Crispy.

Claxton designed a series of scarves and umbrellas for the exhibition. “I believe that art and fashion are closely linked and it is a huge part of my brand story,” she says.

Crispy’s focus is on “upcycled” fashion. “I reformed these size 44 men’s formal blazers into trendy fashion silhouettes,” she says. “I want to express that the earth is owned not by just humans, but other living things as well.” She has also created T-shirts with calligraphic designs for the event.

Upcycling is one of the themes of Fashion Muse, along with incubating young Hong Kong artists, says Judy Lam Wai-chung, K11 Concepts assistant general manager.

Fashion Muse runs until September 11, 2016 at K11 Atrium and Chi K11 Art Space, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui