Friday, March 20, 2009

Hong Kong fashion (aka Santa in spring; nature in Hong Kong)

Image of a a designer dress found in an MTR exhibit on Hong Kong fashion in the MTR (subway system). Name of the dress: New Cloth for Raccoon (raccoon). Designer: Wong Hoi-ki. Materials: Cotton print, cotton.Dear Gentle Reader,

Santa hats for fashion.

...And not just at Christmas.

Who would have guessed it? 

Well, it looks like it, but it's not true.

In the last post I included a shot of two lovely outfits on Cambodian mannequins, one with a Santa hat. 

Heidelweiss asked if Santa hats were normal for Hong Kong, out of the Christmas season.

I guess the answer to your question, Heidelweiss, yes.

Serendipity just batted her eyelashes; this designer outfit I found has nothing to do with Santa besides the hat. 

I could completely imagine this as a prêt-à-porter piece in Hong Kong; I have seen women walking around in similar outfits.

(As always, roll the mouse over the picture for more information. As always, there is a hidden title--today strictly informative, though.) 

This dress was part of an exhibition of fashion designs revolving around nature. This design is based on the lowly raccoon. 

In honour of style, and because the Heroine is in Germany, I watched Ultraviolet, again, because, like the Chronicles of Riddick or Underworld or the Fifth Element, it has a lovely sense of style, which ameliorates other cinematic defects.

Style makes me think of Asia.

Sometimes here, like in other hot countries (as in Spain, especially Andalusia, or in Brazil) style is simply a welcome deficit of clothing, attracting the eyes to the promises hinted at, and almost shown, yet hidden under the little that remains.

Sometimes, though, the style is flamboyant with fabric, rather than flesh.

At many Chinese community fundraisers and charity balls that your humble scribe has attended (in Asia, North America, and in Europe), the emcees have been glittering.

True, society expects the women to be glittering at black or white tie events, but the men are normally more subdued, to offset the glittering glory of the women a fortiori.

Yet the male emcees, at Chinese community fundraisers, might show up in a sequined smoking jacket or a lurid pink with emerald green embroidered dinner jacket...

And the women can have very interesting fashion choices, too.

Why did this come to mind?

Because I stumbled upon an exhibit of recent Hong Kong fashion designer hopefuls, from a fashion garment educational programme.

These graduation pieces were (are) on display in a back corner of the Hong Kong Subway system.

Pieces like this.

Image of a a designer dress found in an MTR exhibit on Hong Kong fashion in the MTR (subway system). Name of the dress: Orphaned bird, difficult cry (mandarin ducks). Designer: So Hoi-yi. Materials: Cloth, feather, lace, ribbon.
I can easily visualise this piece being worn in Hong Kong at a fancy ball. 

Why does the dress look like a duck? It was built that way.

There is an accompanying blurb for this mandarin duck themed dress, written, presumably, by the designer. It reads:

Orphaned bird, difficult cry (mandarin ducks):

Mandarin ducks live in pairs but this loyalty does not stop the unscrupulous predator -- man -- from catching and killing the male for its attractive and valuable feathers. The female is robbed of her mate only to remain alone by the river. This design highlights the beauty in nature and, particularly, the distinctive colour ands and delicacy of the mandarin duck. There are also some elegant Chinese feminine elements in the design reflects (sic) the relationship between the male and female duck, which is often torn apart by man's greed.

It is always interesting to know what goes on in other people's minds when they create something. To know what they were trying to achieve. This is why I am reproducing the artist/designer's statements.

Then your scribe stumbled upon this beauty. 

The rebellious piece on the right, below, is described as follows...

Image of a a designer dress found in an MTR exhibit on Hong Kong fashion in the MTR (subway system). Name of the dress: Struggle for living (white tiger). Designer: Yip Chak-lam. Materials: Cloth, paper, cotton.
Struggle for living (white tiger):

This design shows a distinctive "punk" style with its ripped cloth strips and iron chain suggesting the marks of a struggle, not a struggle for man but for the tigers' survival as the hunt for these rare and beautiful creatures continues.

To your humble scribe, this looks about as punk as Vivienne Westwood. Still, I can imagine young women who could carry it off.

Finally, I found this magnificent piece that I thought might have been evocative of  "daughter of the little shop of horrors":

Image of a a designer dress found in an MTR exhibit on Hong Kong fashion in the MTR (subway system). Name of the dress: Hidden flying (barn owl). Designer: Lam Pui-yi. Materials: Cloth, feather, iron wire, leather belt.Hidden flying (barn owl):

The behaviour of the barn owl is often a mystery to us because they are most active at night. We call them "the night walkers". Like most owls, these creatures are shy and avoid humans as much as possible. This design was made to illustrate the beauty and rhythm of night-flying.

(Here I thought that this was a flower when I first saw it. Aside: Could it be that the expression "what a hottie" is derived from hot house flowers, delicate and sublimely beautiful, shown off in outfits like this?)

Chris and Pommes, preening his socks and and vest, oh so nonchalantly as if to say, look at me, Miss Kitty.

PS: What was the blurb for the Santa/raccoon image at the start of the post? Here it is.

New cloth for raccoon (raccoon):

For his own benefit man destroys the woods, forests, and oceans. He destroys wildlife habitats and ruins the ecology that sustains them. This is true for the raccoon, which man kills exclusively for its fur. Pressure groups have gone some way in stopping this activity by promoting a raccoon cartoon, which arouses concern for this animal. This design has a a cartoon "style" for a human body in order to highlight the irony.


Cloudia said...

Pommes has an admirer.
Just saying....
amazing fashions, Scribe!
(Yes, Miss Kitty, Pommes is well groomed. now off of the keyboard!)

Sepiru Chris said...

Dear Cloudia,

They are pretty interesting fashions, especially for cool cats like Miss Kitty or Pommes.


Dominic Rivron said...

I must own up to having a santa hat. Somebody bought it me a few years ago and you never know when it might come in handy.

These fashions made me think what the world would be like if we all concocted clothes like these for ourselves as a matter of course.

Anonymous said...

nice blog. I am regular reader of this blog and i have found interesting blog on fashion accessories.

Junosmom said...

Well, no wonder I can never find a dress for Easter. If this is what the designers are coming up with, by the time it reaches KY, I'll just have to go with a plain old shift. I don't think if I showed up at Church in a tiger outfit, they'd let me in.


kkkkkkk without stopping --- you have a comic vein, this is the funniest thing I have seen .( Is to roll in for both laugh???) The pieces are of a bad taste so awesome should call them pieces of art for sure.

debra said...

My #2 daughter is looking for a dress for a formal dance; perhaps I should show her these?

Heidelweiss said...

The barn owl dress could ONLY be made more beautiful with the addition of a Santa hat. What was the designer thinking? No, really. What the hell was that designer thinking? I've seen a LOT of ugly dresses in my time but THAT, well that takes the cake.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

These are wonderful, Sepiru Chris!

Sepiru Chris said...

Dear Dominic Rivron,

Santa hat owners unite! I actually love the idea of a society where we all design our own clothes. I finally bowed to outside pressure when we lived in Geneva and became a Lacoste icon for casual wear, and I still loathe the idea of paying for the privilege of advertising for somebody else.

Dear Jeff A. Hardy,

Looks more like a sales site than a blog, but you made the effort to find me.

Dear Junosmom,

Just roar. Daniel only tamed lions. Tigers are, apparently, an unknown element.

Dear Elaine Erig,

I am glad that you enjoyed it. But, Elaine, if we called this art, what would we call your creations? Material glory? Nope, it wouldn't be fair to real artists like yourself.

Dear Debra,

Absolutely. She would be the Belle of the ball. Or, if not, then she could at least be founcy, bouncy, founcy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun (like Tigger).

Dear Heidelweiss,

You come visit and we'll try to find the designer and quiz her to find out what she was thinking, and what stimulants she was on...

Dear Raph G. Neckmann,

They certainly are remarkable.