The creative community has been buzzing about the opening of PMQ in Hong Kong, which opened its doors last month. Billed as the city’s new address for creativity, this former heritage site features 130 retail spaces cum designer studios that are aimed at showcasing the work of Hong Kong based designers from the fields of design, fashion and art. It’s also home to several restaurants, pop-up spaces and a cool event space called the Cube which will be home to several big fashion and art events in the coming months.
While there has been some criticism among the fashion community about the project (many of the designers need to be pre-approved in order to secure a space, and some rents are subsidised, while others are not) I was impressed with the variety on offer. While the ground floor of the complex features more well-known names like Vivienne Tam, upstairs you will find some interesting new designers and retail concepts that are worth checking out.
Highlights include Aly & Rachelle (S411) which is run by Central Saint Martin’s graduate, Christine Lam. Her label was previously sold online and features classic yet feminine pieces ranging from long silk dresses to lace trimmed tops. She can also do custom orders and carries a range of jewellery from Hong Kong and the England.
Smith & Norbu (S404), which was founded by Hong Kong based Belgian designer Benoit Ams, stocks a unique collection of handcrafted optical frames made from Tibetan Yak horn (each takes around six hours to make).
HAK (H202) is the brainchild of local designer and London College of Fashion graduate Ling Wong, and features minimalist separates with a cool fashion edge.
The Refinery (S410) is multi-label fashion boutique curated by well-known British blogger Elizabeth Lau. Offerings include international brands such as Alex Monroe jewellery, Marios women’s wear and Kate Sheridan accessories, as well as Lau’s own line of quirky knitwear (pictured above).
When it comes to jewellery its worth checking out Obellery (H311), a contemporary jewellery gallery and studio founded by local designers Hugo Yeung and Belinda Chang. In addition to showcasing unique jewels from Asian artists, they also host regular jewellery and metalwork workshops. Marijoli (S412) designed by Marielle Byworth, features modern zen-inspired pieces made from gold and silver.
Art meets fashion at AOGP (s202) where accessory designer Maggie Tse themes her retail space every month. Currently on show is a collection of bead and chain necklaces that can double as body jewellery.
Who’s That (S309) meanwhile is all about wearable art – each season they collaborate with an artist to interpret their philosophy into clothing. Their own in-house line is equally innovative and includes dresses made from mircrofibre and plastic with no seams (instead they are connected using bolts and an unusual weaving technique).
More well-known designers with studios in PMQ include Harrison Wong and S.Nine by Susanna Soo. Hong Kong retailer Joyce has also secured several units which will be dedicated to showcasing the work from design students in Hong Kong while highlighting subjects such as sustainability through exhibitions and other programmes.
Who says Hong Kong doesn’t have talent?
PMQ is at 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong. For more information visit www.pmq.org.hk