Plotz autumn/winter 2013 collection
While every country or local fashion organization honours their own fashion talent, there aren’t many international fashion awards that recognises designers on an international scale. For that reason, I have to give props to the International Woolmark Prize which was launched back in 1954 and that famously launched the careers of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, among many others.
Although the award was re-launched last year (the prize is AUD$100,000 and a list of esteemed stockists), this year sees it expand to include more countries, including Hong Kong. Last week Woolmark held an event to announce the regional nominations for Asia, and I was very excited to see two local brands make the cut.
Both labels are quite different but have a unique point of view which is why I wanted to share their work. Hopefully this is only just the beginning of local designers making their mark on a global scale.
Plotz was founded in 2007 by Hong Kong born Singchin Lo, a graduate of the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Lo says he was inspired to become a fashion designer because he liked the fact that fashion came without boundaries. As such his line of women’s wear is trend-defying and focuses on flattering a woman’s body through detailed patchwork and contoured silhouettes.
The foundation of Lo’s work are the unique fabrics he creates himself. These are then manipulated to highlight a woman’s body, incorporating additional techniques such as pleating and ruching. The look is edgy yet feminine, but always understated as details are kept to a minimum so the fabric really shines through.
His autumn/winter 2013 collection, called Hybrid, is interestingly inspired by Google Maps. Each piece of clothing is like a map, drawn out using different techniques and fabrics on one style. So you’ll see inverted pleats on a brown satin dress, which later makes a reappearance on a hot pink sweater with studs. Fold, knots and drapes create a feminine look, while the palette includes icy blue, grey, navy and hot pink.
If you are into conceptual brands that mix fashion and art then Ffixxed is for you. The design collective was founded by Australian born duo Kain Picken (who studied art) and fashion designer Fiona Lau. They met in Berlin where they were working on an art project. In 2008 they launched the brand and immediately grabbed headlines with their wearable art which over the years has included items such as a sun visor draped with a mosquito net and a sweater made entirely from cork.
Named by the New York Times as one of seven designers to watch in 2010, their style has definitely become more refined. In 2009 they moved to Hong Kong and set up a studio in a village nearby Shenzen where they do everything from sampling to production. While many of their designs still have a sculptural element to them, they are balanced out with more wearable pieces.
And although the designers may not be born and bred in our city, they are inspired by objects that they encounter here everyday, be it the wooden bead mats found in local taxis which they transformed into vests in their spring/summer 2013 collection or the demolished buildings they see everyday. For autumn/winter they featured pieces covered in a series of colourful tiles and digital printed woven rugs that can be worn. All their designs are unisex so there’s something for everyone – just as long as you don’t mind standing out in a crowd.