Made in Hong Kong: The hottest new names in local fashion

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Arthur Tam breaks down the hottest new names in local fashion

New fashion designers are starting up everywhere in Hong Kong these days, so it can be a little difficult to figure out who exactly is worth paying attention to. However, last week’s Hong Kong Fashion Week 2016 highlighted a clutch of local designers to keep on your radar if you’re seeking something that truly captures the essence of Hong Kong fashion. With so much talent out there, why not not opt for a unique piece from a local designer instead of purchasing something from a mall?

Blind by JW
The creativity behind Blind by JW comes from the minds of Central Saint Martins graduate Jessica Lau and Hong Kong Polytechnic University graduate Walter Kong. The two blend their East and West aesthetics into sophisticated, whimsical collections. Lau has also worked with notable fashion houses like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. 
Designs Expect a lot of bold, picturesque prints, textural oversized jackets and modern mini-dresses. Blind by JW is all about keeping it feminine, fresh and fun. 
Favourite look The blue shirt and skirt with woven textural pastel jacket mixes a cluster of design elements that shouldn’t work, but somehow do. blindbyjw.tumblr.com

Modement
Since Aries Sin launched her men’s and womenswear label, Modement, back in 2010, she’s been going from strength to strength. She’s a recipient of many accolades including being listed in Perspective’s 2013 40 Under 40 list for fashion design talent. Besides her ready-to-wear collection, Sin also specialises in bespoke gowns and suits for brides and grooms. 
Designs Sin dabbles in androgyny. Many of her outfits are unisex and look great on men, women and everything in between. Modement usually adheres to a monochrome colour palette and juxtaposes fitted and loose pieces in an outfit. 
Favourite look The sleek, all black long jacket and wide pants look has a classic, high-fashion appeal that remains easy-to-wear. modement.hk

Demo 
Designer Derek Chan Chun-kit has an eye for menswear. Having gradually developed his brand for the past three years, he’s able to forge a contemporary look while utilising classic elements of men’s tailoring, a look which can be characterised as youthful dandy. Demo has been a hit on fashion blog Fucking Young
Designs There’s a clear nod to the likes of Juun J and Thom Browne. You won’t find any boring suits here. It’s all about creating slim, fitted silhouettes and clean lines highlighting the neck area. If you want a formal look with a sense of purpose and severity, Demo is for you.
Favourite look The tweed with a puffy arm jacket and knee high shorts has the right proportions for a debonair feel. demo-fashion.com.

Lapeewee
Young designers Yannes Wong (pictured) and Stephanie Wong (no relation) have a keen eye for making stylish and street-chic womenswear. They’ve been featured in Harper’s Bazaar and their clothing has been a hit with local celebs like actress Kate Tsui and singers Candy Lo and Panther Chan. The Wong’s know what young modern women want.
Designs Lapeewee’s collections are all about taking a minimalistic approach to masculine, structured materials and treating it with feminine cuts and details. The looks are reminiscent of Korean street style and are usually for girls that don’t want to be too girly.
Favourite look The mod black mini dress with grid print oversized jacket hits all the right marks for urban chic. lapeewee.com.

Kurt Ho
If Rick Owens is looking for a new protégé, he should look up Kurt Ho, who took home the overall winner prize for his menswear collection at the PolyU graduate fashion show in 2014. He’s a young rising star in the fashion scene and slowly making his way around the world, attending shows in both Tokyo and New York. 
Designs His looks can be characterised as dark, moody, broody and minimalist with an emphasis on being completely non-sexual. There is a strong sense of form and a close attention to clean lines and cuts. There are also elements of androgyny.
Favourite look The high collar jacket with shorts is well structured and a fierce and formidable look. It’s chic and ready for everyday wear kurtho.co.uk

Effie Hung
Having spent a decade working for luxury brands like Anteprima and Moiselle, Effie Hung decided to launch her eponymous womenswear label this past year and is stirring up the fashion scene with her contemporary aesthetic.
Designs It’s all about knits with Effie. Long, form-fitting sweater dresses and more sophisticated and mature outfits with tailored jackets and shirts exemplify her collections. There is an ease and natural flow to her designs that evokes a purposeful, I-just-got-out-of-bed look. The girl Hung designs for really can’t be bothered with life, in the best of ways.
Favourite look The bright orange asymmetrical sweater dress emits a fierce attitude while remaining casual about it. effiehung.com

 

Kenax Leung
Kenax has been a steadily rising star in Hong Kong’s fashion scene for the past three years, ever since he walked away with an award in the casualwear category at the Young Fashion Designers’ Contest back in 2012. A top pick for local male celebs, he also has a notable womenswear collection.
Designs Leung is a huge fan of mixing a range of different design elements into one look. He has a bold sense of colour, textures and prints, and manages to edit an outfit perfectly, so it doesn’t end up looking like a visual cacophony. Or simply a mess.
Favourite look The loose fitted pastel pink suit with geometric patches blends edgy and whimsy into a single look for an update on swag. kenaxleung.com.

Hang
Hang is the German word for slope, and it’s the concept behind all of designer Mim Mak’s work, which creates three-dimensional clothing that offers a new perspective from every angle. Mak was crowned the overall winner at the 2012 Young Designers’ Contest. 
Designs At the beginning, her collection geared toward an apocalyptic minimalism. But recently, Mak has become more colourful and sporty while maintaining her unique use of fabrics. There is always a clean finish to Mak’s designs and her outfits speak to young, modern women that like mixing femininity with masculinity. 
Favourite look The updated dark blue, school girl uniform is structural, yet comfortable, with hints to a Japanese aesthetic à la Sacai. Plus, all the details fall in the right place. hanggggggg.com.

Mountain Yam 
Yam is one of the more experienced designers on the block, having started his career back in 2007 and having worked for the likes of Cocomojo and Anteprima. He has two womenswear labels, a ready-to-wear collection called 112 mountainyam and his bespoke couture label, Mountain Yam. 
Designs He has a flair for the psychedelic streetwear and isn’t afraid to experiment with graphic prints. If you have a craving for a burst of colourful skittles on your clothes, Yam is your man. He designs in a way that really represents electric Hong Kong streetwear.
Favourite look The long black dress with a Rorschach print is mesmerising. The sillohuette is left simple so the print can shine. Simple yet complicated. mountainyam.com

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