Emerging Asian designers to interpret historic Western fashions – WWD
While cultural influences remain a hot topic in fashion, an exhibition in Hong Kong later this year is in the works, involving the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and recruiting six hot designers from across Asia.
Designed by retailer K11 for its K11 Musea’s Art & Cultural Center in Hong Kong, the showcase will see Tokyo’s Tomo Koizumi and London’s Sohee Park of Miss Sohee design “contemporary responses” to British and French womenswear from the historic V&A collections. .
According to K11, it was “an exercise in tracing and understanding how fashion evolves over time and absorbs and assimilates the impacts of cultural similarities and differences. It is a mirror of how, for centuries, various cultures have inspired and stimulated the imagination of designers, and the impact of this on fashion through the ages.
“I want people to better understand the influence of history on art and fashion today. It’s a continuous evolution,” said production designer William Chang Suk-ping, recruited as artistic director of “The Love of Couture: Artisanship in Fashion Beyond Time,” which is slated to open Dec. 7.
“This exhibition should serve as a reminder that craftsmanship, in all its forms and techniques, is guided by human touch,” he added.
Chang is perhaps best known in fashion circles for creating Maggie Cheung’s alluring look for Wong Kar-wai’s stylish 2000 film In the Mood for Love, and her 2014 Oscar nomination for the costumes he designed for “The Grandmaster”.
Designers involved also include Ryunosuke Okazaki from Japan, Yueqi Qi and Sensen Lii from Windowsen from China, and Celine Kwan from Hong Kong.
Everyone was allowed to choose the pieces from the V&A collection and must contribute four works to be exhibited.
“I wanted designers to be inspired by pieces that let them tell a story through their unique style and techniques,” Chang explained.
He noted that the set design will be inspired by “Love After Love,” a poem by Derek Walcott, and will involve “the visuals of a brain scan, highlighting in color the synapses that light up intensely when we are in love.” There will be 36 pieces which will be divided thematically to show an evolution of craftsmanship over time.
The V&A didn’t just provide the six designers with the archival dresses – it will chronicle a section of the exhibit tracing the “gradual transformation of craftsmanship in fashion and textiles” via historic artifacts dating from 1830 and onwards. ‘in 1960.
The exhibit will be unveiled on December 3 during K11 Night, a glitzy invite-only party that has been described as the Asian equivalent of the Met Gala.
The exhibit at K11 is the brainchild of Hong Kong-based developer and entrepreneur Adrian Cheng, founder of K11 Group and managing director of New World Development. A proponent of “cultural retail,” Cheng has made art attractions a key facet of his projects, and he is keen to build bridges of understanding between East and West.
Cheng also works to rejuvenate endangered Chinese crafts through his K11 Craft & Guild Foundation.
According to K11, collaborating with the six emerging designers reinforces its mission to “incubate talent, spread culture in the community and democratize art, culture and design”.