story / Alex Catarinella
Newsflash: There’s so much more to see/obsess over outside of New York/Paris/Milan Fashion Weeks. In recent years, the “fashion world” has aptly started to pay attention to what’s going down the runways at often great, off-the-beaten-path Fashion Weeks, like Tbilisi, Seoul, and Sydney. Well, add Hong Kong Fashion Week to that list. We’ve just returned from HKFW, and we can confirm that it should also be on your fashion-y radar. (We can also confirm that we’re psychotically jetlagged — and very pleased with the K-Beauty sheet mask combo packs we purchased at Duty-Free.)
Another newsflash: Hong Kong, in general, is a can’t-miss creative capital. Some mega-proof: Virgil Abloh opened OFF-WHITE’s first retail store ever back in 2014 in, you guessed it, Hong Kong. He opened a second in the spring of 2017, resulting in many a street-style photographer to lose their damn mind. Also, the new-ish Art Basel Hong Kong, anyone? (Star sightings have included the fashion likes of Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, and more.) But back to the electric HKFW, which is organized by Hong Kong Trade Development Council: It isn’t your typical fashion week. Aside from the Fashion Week norm of runway shows, presentations and parties, there are seminars with international industry heavyweights, and an overwhelming-in-a-good-way trade fair — It’s Asia’s largest (with 1,400 exhibitors this year), and the second largest of its kind in the world. In other words, it’s a lot! And there’s a lot to love.
Can’t afford a flight to Hong Kong to check out its sartorial-slaying scene? Don’t you worry. We’re here to fill you in on three of the hottest Hong Kong designers whose duds will be storming down the New Fashion Week runway in a few weeks in a group show for the 4th edition of Fashion Hong Kong, which is organized by the aforementioned HKTDC in an effort to promote Hong Kong’s hottest designers. Say you’ll be there.
HEAVEN PLEASE +
There’s nothing subtle or soft about HEAVEN PLEASE +. The brand is wackily wonderful. It’s Pinterest Gone Wild. It’s Björk for Opening Ceremony. It’s ‘Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead’ at a Guggenheim fête. It’s The Row on acid. It’s Tilda Swinton if she was a millennial. A Met Gala moment if an homage to Sporty Spice was the theme. (Can you even imagine?!) It’s hyper and hypnotic. It’s haute, hip and… heavenly. (Sorry, we had to.) Anyway, HEAVEN PLEASE+ was founded circa 2011 by a former Marie Claire HK fashion editor, Yi Chan, and her friend/fellow Hong Kong Polytechnic classmate, Lary Cheung. Collections are perpetually influenced by art, literature and music — the duo are big fans of, yep, Björk. Speaking of music, they named the label after their favorite song, “Heaven Please,” by (the now inactive) melancholic indie band, Devics. Many looks feel a bit Simone Rocha with a rebellious, hair-flipping twist. Head-turning pieces are downright visceral with those exaggerated silhouettes, cuckoo colors and punchy prints and abstract AF shapes. In other words, Art Basel Hong Kong-ready lunatical looks. Yes, please.
Anveglosa is all about leather. Think bold and beautiful with a femme fatale punch, not bondage or catsuit-clad pop star. Classy X Sassy. Annette Chan, a self-taught designer and tailor, launched the very famous-in-Hong-Kong line in 2007. She’s all about working with the finest leathers imported from Europe with all products manufactured in Anveglosa’s very own Hong Kong leather factory. Anveglosa’s clientele consists mostly of women in their early thirties and above, who apparently are drawn to the figure-flattering cuts, classic silhouettes, and sublime craftsmanship. And who aren’t afraid of head-to-toe leather. I mean, who doesn’t love a leather beret? And don’t get us started on Anveglosa’s trench coats with pleated sleeves. Recent collections boast ‘60s mod-meets-film noir starlet vibes. It’s Posh Spice goes a bit punk. A rag & bone, Bottega Veneta, and Sally LaPointe sartorial smoothie. Drink up.
112 MOUNTAIN YAM
Someone get Opening Ceremony on the phone, and ASAP because designer Mountain Yam’s line AKA 112 Mountain Yam would fit perfectly on one of their racks. A Kenzo collab, perhaps? Eva Chen would definitely be into 112 Mountain Yam. Maybe even Natasha Lyonne at a Fashion Week event. You get the picture, hopefully. Yam’s design inspirations come from daily life in intoxicating Hong Kong. An example: A messy moment at a cocktail party involving a glass of red wine spilling onto a friend’s cocktail dress immediately inspired him to create a collection that was water repellent. (He loves a vinyl moment!) His looks clearly focus on functionality, but in an off-kilter, zany, but somehow still wearable manner. For those in the fashion know, 112 Mountain Yam might remind you of a sleeker-meets-sporty version of Tsumori Chisato — and that’s a good thing. Yam’s super big on clashing prints and textures, and he’s got a penchant for subverting and reshaping classic, polished numbers. For instance, cocktail party dresses and suits get immaculately mixed with men’s sportswear elements. In short, crazy, sexy, cool can sum up the 112 Mountain Yam look. Wine-spilling and wild gallery girls, this is for you.
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