The ever-prestigious stage of Paris Fashion Week has long been a coveted runway for the world’s most esteemed brands, including the likes of Dior, Saint Laurent and Hermes. To the aspiring designer, the chance to showcase their work in the capital of fashion comes as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.
Fashion Farm Foundation (FFF), a non-profit group started by fashion entrepreneurs and enthusiasts from Hong Kong has long been a supporter of up-and-coming designers, paving the way for new talents to showcase their works on a bigger stage and providing industry opportunities to be discovered on an international level. In Paris Fashion Week, seven Hong Kong designers presented their latest Spring/Summer 2024 collections to the leading fashion tastemakers.
The seven designers, each with a unique vision and design ethos were brought together in the same space to share their collections—from Celine Kwan’s love letter to canine companions, to Yeung Chin’s herbal take on medication, the event was a reckoning of new talents and creativity. Below, see the new wave of designers from Hong Kong that should be on your radar.
1. Celine Kwan
Celine Kwan, the creative director of her eponymous brand, is a graduate of the renowned Central Saint Martins. Her diverse, international upbringing in Hong Kong and the UK has imbued her with a unique perspective on fashion that allows her to seamlessly adapt her work to different themes and audiences.
Celine’s work is best described as a vivid and energetic interpretation of classic womenswear. A bold and colourful celebration of femininity, imbued with a sense of wonder and an unbridled passion for creativity—she frequently explores transformation and functionality in unexpected ways, pushing the boundaries of traditional fashion and creating a style that is uniquely her own.
For her SS24 collection titled ‘Bitch Stole My Look’, Kwan celebrated the profound bond a woman has with her pet dog, inspired by her personal memories and the general delight that canines bring to this world. The collection may seem completely self-indulgent but don’t let its looks fool you. Despite its extroverted personality, Kwan set out to create a collection that is completely functional as it was designed with dog walkers in mind. The collection features functional innovations such as pockets for doggie bags and skirts that assist you when you’re holding your puppies.
In line with the theme of beloved pooches, Kwan will also be collaborating with the animal charity ‘Battersea Dogs and Cats’, making a stand for animals in need, making a positive impact through fashion. If there’s anything that’s going to bring a smile to your face, you best bet it’s the meeting of fashion and puppies.
In 2014, Derek Chan embarked on a mission to challenge and dismantle the rigid boundaries of gender, creating Demo—a brand that redefines masculinity and femininity. Chan’s passion and vision have resulted in a signature style—soft masculinity that is brought to life through the use of rich textiles such as tweed and handmade embroidery. Chan’s creative genius lies in his ability to infuse traditional materials with fresh and innovative techniques, resulting in a breathtaking symphony of tailoring, artistic inspiration, and self-expression.
DEMO’s SS24 collection finds its muse in the Cannes Award-winning cinematic gem, “Death in Venice.” Chan masterfully captures the essence of the film’s allure and elegance through his exquisite craftsmanship and meticulous attention to intricate details. Each piece in the collection is a work of art, a tribute to Chan’s unwavering commitment to his craft and his dedication to redefining the norms of gender and fashion.
3. Le Mandorle
Le Mandorle was founded in 2021 by Tara Lee. The name of the brand, which translates to “The Almond” in Italian, encapsulates the brand’s philosophy of simplicity, organic beauty, and effortless sophistication. Lee, a graduate of London College of Fashion, has honed her craft at the renowned fashion houses Céline and Jil Sander. Her illustrious career has greatly influenced her design philosophy, which is all about minimalism and simplicity. Lee is a true advocate of high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship, prioritising functionality over fleeting trends to create timeless pieces that can be cherished and worn season after season.
For Le Mandorle’s SS24 collection Lee created ‘Unspoken Conversation’. The collection is inspired by the power of language and the beauty of organic forms, and revolves around quotation marks. Each piece in the collection is a wearable sculpture, crafted to celebrate unexpected beauty. ‘Unspoken Conversation’ speaks to the strength of bold design and the extraordinary potential of simple symbols. It goes beyond jewellery, extending into clothing accessories, embodying a celebration of the unexpected and serving as a personal unspoken conversation.
Liu Xing and co-founder Logan Chan, both graduates of the Central Academy of Fine Art, established PabePabe in 2018. Inspiration for the brand struck when they were observing local Hong Kong daily life and objects. The brand sought out to be non mainstream from the get go creating a new form of art by combining ready-made products with a strong physical visual aesthetic. Xing and Chan’s unique approach to art is a reflection of their commitment to creating something truly new and groundbreaking, a testament to their remarkable talent and their unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of traditional norms and conventions.
For their SS24 collection PabePabe decided to bring back the music theme from last season as they had discovered additional techniques for crafting instruments and incorporating them into bag designs. The new collection, aptly named ‘Melody Practice’, centres around the production of melodies, seamlessly blending the art of music with the art of bag design.
5. Reverie by Caroline Hú
Founded in 2018 by womenswear designer Caroline Hu, her eponymous luxury label is born out of New York, with a unique and captivating perspective on life’s everyday moments. Hu’s style is characterised by its romantic attitude and exquisite craftsmanship, which imbues her creations with a contemporary aesthetic that is both captivating and inspiring. At the heart of the brand Hu pursues women’s independence, consciousness, and soul freedom, and her designs are a testament to this noble quest.
Caroline Hu’s HÚ’s SS24 collection, Reverie, explores the relationship between individuals and space, capturing new perspectives and visual aesthetics. The collection incorporates translucent fabrics overlapped with vibrant prints, creating a unique visual language of colours and moments of romance.
6. Yat Pit
Jason Mui and On-Ying Lai, two creative souls who graduated from Central Saint Martins, embarked on a journey to rediscover their Chinese heritage upon returning to Hong Kong. Driven by their passion to revive traditional styles and patterns, the duo founded Yat Pit in 2015. They noticed a dearth of Chinese clothing options in their wardrobes and decided to craft everyday wear that would bring them closer to their roots. Yat Pit is a manifestation of their vision—a beautiful blend of innovation and tradition, where ancient themes are reimagined to make them more relevant and accessible to the modern world.
The SS24 collection by Yat Pit draws inspiration from the transient nature of tea dying and the idea that nothing lasts forever. It is a celebration of letting go and exploring emotions and feelings in a spiritual sense. The collection features stunning hand-drawn prints inspired by spiritual figures and symbols, including the Flower of Life, Yin Yang, Blue Lotus, Medicine Buddha, Green Tara, and heart sutra. By embracing the concept of impermanence, the collection aims to promote mental well-being and free us from suffering.
7. YEUNG CHIN
Yeung Chin, an experienced designer, served as the Chief Designer for G2000 before he started his own business. He has an impressive portfolio that includes designing costumes for the City Contemporary Dance Company and exhibiting at prestigious events such as Cheer’s Exhibition at OXO Tower in London, Asia Society Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. Yeung Chin is currently a guest lecturer at the Hong Kong Design Institute and has opened a concept store at PMQ. His label, YEUNG CHIN, is known for its unconventional aesthetics that combine art, dance moves, and other inspirations like films and sculptures.
YEUNG CHIN’s SS24 collection is centred around the theme of dark environmental protection and takes inspiration from traditional Chinese medicine. The collection features a range of colours derived from various Chinese herbal medicines and incorporates plant printing and dyeing techniques. While the collection predominantly features black, white, and grey, it also introduces vibrant colours such as red, yellow, purple, and black through the use of Galla, Ink Tree, Lac Insect, Myrobalan, Phellodendron, and Huai Mi.
The primary objective of this collection is not only to showcase the colours of Chinese herbal medicine but also to highlight their efficacy and cultural significance. It aims to inspire the audience to think critically and showcase the practicality of design in everyday life. The collection encourages multidimensional thinking about the creation and coexistence of all things, with a strong focus on avant-garde design details, fabric layering, the combination of different textures, and challenging established aesthetics and conventions.