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Fashion


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Breaking the Waves


Whether bronzing at the beach or sipping poolside cocktails, look to the iconic beach belles and beaus of the 1950s and ’60s for timeless examples of elegant shoreside attire

Breaking the Waves


Whether bronzing at the beach or sipping poolside cocktails, look to the iconic beach belles and beaus of the 1950s and ’60s for timeless examples of elegant shoreside attire

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Breaking the Waves

August 7, 2019 / by Felix Williams

above image: Lobby card for Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film Lolita, starring Sue Lyon

Elizabeth Taylor, circa 1955

Elizabeth Taylor, circa 1955

It’s fairly indisputable – French screen siren Brigitte Bardot is the pinnacle of boho beach chic. She paired her signature wide-brimmed floppy hat with striking bikinis, blonde beach locks and kohl eyeliner for an effortlessly cool look. Her beach style was epitomised in the 1962 film A Very Private Affair; the St Tropez style launched the two-piece as an iconic swimwear garment that endures to this day. In the same year, Sue Lyon controversially wore a patterned bikini and a wide-brimmed hat in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, creating an innocent and playful beachwear look.

For a more pristine look, style icon Grace Kelly was always a portrait of elegance. She wore white bikinis, and even a leopard-print bathing suit. The one-piece was a favourite of 1950s stylistas from Sophia Loren to Elizabeth Taylor; the latter paired hers with striking red lipstick. Marilyn Monroe famously posed in a flattering white swimsuit, as a sweetheart neckline one-piece in various hues became her favourite splash. Movie star and synchronised swimming icon Esther Williams glided across the screen in desirable swimsuits during her 1950s blockbusters, even launching a swimwear brand that offers women the chance to emulate her beach attire and continues to this day.

Sandra Dee’s role in 1959 comedy Gidget saw her in cute red swimsuits and orange two-pieces, paired with her sporty blonde ponytail. In 1967 romance Two for the Road, Audrey Hepburn wears cotton shirting over her swimsuits, as well as red-and-white tops layered over red swimwear. In 1958 drama Bonjour Tristesse, Jean Seberg dons an oversized denim shirt over her swimwear, showing an effortless stylish choice for those not keen on a kaftan. 

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The aptly named 1969 film La Piscine (The Swimming Pool) sees French actress and trendsetter Jane Birkin donning a white bikini alongside the smouldering menswear style icon Alain Delon. The 1960s sex symbol was famed for his sharp tailoring, while on the beach he looked to well-fitted shorts in white, which showed off his fashionable tan.

The 1959 dramaFrom Here to Eternity sees Montgomery Clift wear classic hibiscus-print shorts paired with Cuban-collar shirts in the Hawaii-set film. Set in the late 1950s, the 1999 film The Talented Mr Ripley soaks up the sublime surroundings of Italy; Jude Law’s wardrobe is full of refined menswear options as he strolls from the beach to town. The film’s Riviera-style resort wear ranges from patterned shorts matched with open-neck white shirts to white linen trousers rolled up at the ankles with cream-coloured short-sleeved shirts.

More than 50 years on, these icons of cinema remain the epitome of beach style.

Audrey Hepburn on the set of  Two for the Road , 1967

Audrey Hepburn on the set of Two for the Road, 1967

Brigitte Bardot in France, 1967

Brigitte Bardot in France, 1967

Images: Images: Silver Screen Collection/Moviepix, via Getty Images (Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn); Jean-Pierre Bonnotte/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images (Brigitte Bardot); Pierluigi Praturlon/Reporters Associati & Archivi/Mondadori, via Getty Images (Stanley Kubrick)

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Dos and Don'ts for the Beach


Whether Bali’s crowded beaches or some secluded sandy shores take your fancy, beachgoers need to be in the know in terms of refinement. Just because you’ve checked into vacation mode doesn’t mean your manners and proper etiquette should have checked out. Peruse our dos and don’ts to make sure you’re the chicest and most admired at the beach this summer

Dos and Don'ts for the Beach


Whether Bali’s crowded beaches or some secluded sandy shores take your fancy, beachgoers need to be in the know in terms of refinement. Just because you’ve checked into vacation mode doesn’t mean your manners and proper etiquette should have checked out. Peruse our dos and don’ts to make sure you’re the chicest and most admired at the beach this summer

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Dos and Don’ts for the Beach

August 7, 2019 / by F. W. 

Do: 

  • Invest in high-quality waterproof mascara. Leave the panda eyes to the fluffy cuties in Chengdu.

  • Avoid the awkward my-feet-are-on-fire dash to the sea by donning a pair of chic flip-flops to keep your cool right up to the surf.  

  • Come well prepared and avoid the struggle to keep your modesty under your beach towel by wearing your one- or two-piece under your kaftan.

  • Remember to douse yourself in sunscreen unless you fancy lobster-red sunburn: not fun, not comfy and guaranteed to make you the butt of office jokes for the rest of the summer.

  • Sport a sleek pair of sunglasses poolside. Not only will they keep those evil UV rays at bay, but they’re also the perfect mask to hide behind when checking everyone else out. 

 

Don’t:

  • Settle for a snooze in the sun and forget to put your book away. A book-shaped suntan is never à la mode.
  • Forget your headphones. Did anyone else sign up to hear your cheesy summer tunes? No, we didn’t think so.
  • Go for avant-garde swimwear designers with fancy cut-outs and asymmetrical details. They may look stunning in a fashion shoot, but trust us; the resulting uneven tan will be eye-catching for all the wrong reasons.
  • Put the sand into sandwiches. Leave this classic lunchtime dish at home where it belongs and instead bring a selection of fresh fruit for a light snack.
  • Run across the sand as though you’re auditioning for Baywatch; leave it to the pros. Plus, the sand flying off your feet peppering nearby sunbathers won’t be welcomed and instead of admirers, you’ll find a rowdy rabble on your trail.
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Say it with a Fan


An iconic accessory throughout history, the hand fan is making a comeback – and you’d better know its secret, bewitching language

Say it with a Fan


An iconic accessory throughout history, the hand fan is making a comeback – and you’d better know its secret, bewitching language

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Say it with a Fan

July 24, 2019 / by Marine Orlova


From judicial sentences in imperial China to gallant chats at Marie Antoinette’s royal court, the fan has long been used to convey messages. Unisex, elegant, and both useful and futile, fans reveal as much as they hide. Here are three ways to cool yourself down in style while flirting with some exciting codes of seduction.


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1. Fancy

Spending a night at the opera so you can whisper sweet nothings into the ear of your betrothed? Don’t forget your hand fan. When it comes to being sophisticated and unique, these elegant little wings are a girl’s true best friend. What’s more perfect for showing off than this precious, light accessory? Be it one of silk gauze, satin or leather, or with some magnificent embroidery, you’ll surely find the perfect fan to enhance your beauty and bring a breath of fresh air between the two arias.

French fanmaker Sylvain Le Guen, who designed custom creations for Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette, defines his fans as pieces of art. “I see the fan as an extension of the hand and I want it to be its owner’s mirror, whether he or she is strong, glamorous, bold or refined,” he says. “I thus love to play with different materials such as light feathers, thick paper or sequined silk to create pieces that merge art and fashion.”

As soon as you enter the opera house, your magnetic presence will arouse lust and desire in the hearts of countless admirers – and that may be way too much to handle for a single woman. Don’t panic – rely on a little help from your fan. Flutter it to say “I’m engaged” or wave it slowly to say “I’m married” and they’ll be sure to keep a safe distance.

 

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2. Fantasy

Getting ready for a romantic rendezvous? No doubt you’ve painted your lips red, perfumed your hair delicately and are probably about to wear your highest heels as you become the ultimate femme fatale. But if you want to raise your man-eater style to the next level and stack the odds in your favour, dare to play with your erotic fan. After a couple of slight movements, the temperatures will rise and you won’t be able to blame them on global warming.

French label En Cas de Chaleur offers boudoir-inspired fans, featuring endless legs, fetish shoes and other licentious drawings. “I create seductive art objects, both playful and precious,” says Elsa Fabrega, the young creator of En Cas de Chaleur. “My fans are small worlds full of fantasies, the relevance within the impertinence. I couldn’t agree more with Picasso when he says that art can be nothing but erotic.”

Night is falling and the moonlight is shining – it’s time for action. Close your fan and let it touch your cheek to say “I love you”. Then point it at your chin to ask for a kiss.

 

3. Fantastic 

Looking to flee your daily routine? Whether you want to surprise your lover or feel like a showgirl for a night, feather fans are a perfect choice. Put the music on, slip into your most titillating lingerie and play behind larger-than-life two feather fans. Needless to say, this sort of dance has to be performed at the right place and time, say, for a small audience in the hushed atmosphere of your most private room.

As a world-renowned burlesque dancer, Sucre d’Orge knows her feathers very well. “To dance with this prop, you should really feel like a bird and consider feathers as a part of your body,” she explains. “I even used to joke about having learned how to move with feather fans during an internship on a South African ostrich farm. Fly off and take your audience to the moon.”

The fan dance offers many classical figures such as the peacock tail, the shell or the hide-and-seek step – but to be fair, they all share the same basic meaning: “Let’s do it.”

Images: En Cas de Chaleur; Stephen Jackson; Sands Hotel Collection 0287 B25 F11A 8002/UNLV Libraries Special Collections (Copa girls with blue ostrich feather fans in Las Vegas, circa 1955); Nathalie Baetens

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In the Mood for Gloves


Grace Kelly famously said: “Nobody came to see me before wearing white gloves.” From your car seat to the most distinguished garden party, put your gloves on and steal the limelight from any princess

In the Mood for Gloves


Grace Kelly famously said: “Nobody came to see me before wearing white gloves.” From your car seat to the most distinguished garden party, put your gloves on and steal the limelight from any princess

Lifestyle > Fashion


In the Mood for Gloves

July 24, 2019 / by Marine Orlova

Let’s start with a fairy tale. Once upon a time, there was a woman who had a magical wooden box, carefully stored in her wardrobe. If you had the chance to open it, you could smell a delicate perfume of musk and discover numerous treasures made of leather and silk – her collection of gloves. She had one pair for each hour of the day – long ones, short ones, pale pink to deep black, embroidered or not. They were so tight that she had to put some talc on her fingers before slipping them in. But once she was gloved, every gesture she made was like a caress. No one could resist the fascinating power of her hands. 

Too good to be true? This was the elegant woman’s daily routine before the 1930s, when gloves were a staple of the feminine wardrobe. “Back in the days, women possessed 15 pairs of gloves and they took care of them in order to wear them as long as possible,” explains Olivier Causse of French glovemaker Maison Causse. Indeed, they were kept safe from the sun in a dedicated box; the leather was regularly nourished and, obviously, they weren’t meant to be crushed in a woman’s handbag. “Today, gloves are considered to be more of a fashion accessory, worn for a season or two,” says Causse. “Still, we love to manufacture them the way my ancestors did for more than 120 years: made to last.”

Baby, you can drive my car

Gloves have always been a must-have for drivers, whether holding the reins of a horse-drawn carriage or sitting behind the wheel of a modern automobile. Open on the top and made of hole-punched leather, driving gloves are designed to keep the hands dry and fresh. “People who love cars and have the chance to drive a nice one know the unique sensation of driving gloves,” says Causse. “They offer comfort and protection, and give a better grip. To grasp the wheel with gloved hands is definitely part of a luxurious driving experience.”

Even if you don’t drive an expensive racing car every day, be sure they’ll make you feel – and look – like the reincarnation of Gatsby. And after your regal ride, don’t forget to stash them in the glove compartment, or they may be stolen by some of your more unscrupulous passengers…  

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Length matters

On the length of gloves, connoisseurs advise you in unison: the shorter the sleeve, the longer the glove. Indeed, gloves are basically made to extend the sleeve length. The most famous long ones are the opera gloves. Covering the elbow and usually made of silk or satin, they’re perfect for accessorising sleeveless or short-sleeved evening gowns – and they’re sexy as hell when worn with a strapless dress. Have fun and play it like Rita Hayworth in Gilda while you glamorously peel one off… 

If you want to go further, there are even longer gloves. “The longest ones come up to the armpit and are called the 18 buttons,” explains Causse. “It refers to the number of buttons sewn along the glove, which was used as a unit of measure – 18 was the maximum possible length.” You may want to note, however, that these gloves are heavily embedded in the fetish world and probably not ideal for the first encounter with your future mother-in-law.

Gloves 2.0

You’ve probably noticed that you need to remove your rings when wearing gloves. But there’s a solution for those who want to show off their gems: fingerless gloves. Despite their casual modern look, they actually have ancient origins. Close your eyes and imagine you’re back in ancient Greece as a young athlete takes a break between fights. He wraps his hands with leather strips, thus wearing the oldest form of fingerless gloves. Since those days, they have been worn for ages, from the Renaissance to the 19th century. 

“Fingerless gloves are among our bestsellers,” says Causse. “They’re everyday go-to gloves that women love to wear when they want to add a hint of sophistication to their look. They come in different lengths, fabrics and styles, from rock ’n’ roll leather to the most refined lace.” The funny thing is that the fad for smartphones probably contributes to this success – because fingerless gloves are really helpful when it comes to sending text messages.

Images: Hulton Archive/Getty Images (woman in car, 1955); Columbia Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis, via Getty Images (Rita Hayworth in Gilda); Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Moviepix, via Getty Images (Edmond O’Brien & Grace Kelly)

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Sunny Side Up


Classic shapes get a stylish makeover with quirky and refreshing details for summer

Sunny Side Up


Classic shapes get a stylish makeover with quirky and refreshing details for summer

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Sunny Side Up

July 24, 2019 / by Marine Orlova

Aviator Style

In 1937, Ray-Ban created the first polarised sunglasses – for United States Air Force pilots. The large lenses (originally green) were made to give eyes in the sky optimal protection and crystal-clear vision. Easily recognisable by their thin metallic frame with a double bridge and their teardrop shape, they were very trendy during the ’50s – every man wanted to be imbued with their heroic vibes. Want to channel your inner Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Get a pair of aviators and make them your own; it fits just about everyone and looks just as badass on the sidewalk as it does in the cockpit of a fighter jet.


’60s Chic

In 1952, when the sunglasses style was all about metallic frames and the aviator shape, Ray-Ban launched the Wayfarer, a dramatically different model using a relatively new material called acetate. They were mistakenly associated with Audrey Hepburn’s look in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s – in fact, she wore a pair of Oliver Goldsmith shades. Funnily enough, the movie significantly contributed to the fame of the Wayfarer. Mysterious, modern and dark, they’re still a safe bet for hiding sleepy eyes or escaping from the paparazzi. And since they’re unisex, remember that sharing is caring.

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Going Round

Round-shaped sunglasses are a key feature of the hippie dress code – how could we forget John Lennon’s iconic look? Far from the mood of cat-eye sunglasses, which perfectly embody Hollywood glamour and drama, round frames express intellectualism and a laid-back spirit. If you have a square face, dare to wear lenses as round as goggles; they’ll soften your angles. If not, go for a slightly more elongated model and enjoy their quirky retro look. Now you’re part of the circle alongside Diane Keaton (pictured below), Mahatma Gandhi and Harry Potter. Round-shaped sunglasses are a key feature of the hippie dress code – how could we forget John Lennon’s iconic look? Far from the mood of cat-eye sunglasses, which perfectly embody Hollywood glamour and drama, round frames express intellectualism and a laid-back spirit. If you have a square face, dare to wear lenses as round as goggles; they’ll soften your angles. If not, go for a slightly more elongated model and enjoy their quirky retro look. Now you’re part of the circle alongside Diane Keaton (pictured below), Mahatma Gandhi and Harry Potter.


Bigger and Bolder

If your desire to be seen exceeds the mere practical need to see, oversized shades are for you. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis made bug-eyed sunglasses her famous signature. To emulate her elegant style, make her shades your own and choose the Spa 2 or Jacky 1 models that François Pinton designed for her in the ’60s. Otherwise, make your own stylish statement and go for contemporary yet fabulous oversized sunglasses – but be sure they’re suitable before you splash out on the craziest design.

Images: Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis Historical, via Getty Images (Tom Cruise); Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images (Audrey Hepburn); United Artists/Moviepix, via Getty Images (Diane Keaton); Paul Popper/Popperfoto, via Getty Images (Jacqueline Onassis)

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The Evolution of Men’s Swimwear


Beach fashions and advances in textile technology have influenced men’s swimwear throughout the decades

The Evolution of Men’s Swimwear


Beach fashions and advances in textile technology have influenced men’s swimwear throughout the decades

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

The Evolution of Men’s Swimwear

July 10, 2019 / by Scarlett Thomas

Who can forget that image of a glistening, perfectly toned Daniel Craig as 007 emerging from the sea in his blue swimming trunks in 2006’s Casino Royale? When you create your own Bond moment at the beach, be thankful that those wool costumes of yore are no longer in fashion.

We’ve been taking to the water since time immemorial, but the two-century history of bathing and swimwear has involved several revolutions in style, fit and fabric. For centuries, swimming was a male-only preserve and the first swimmers thought nothing of jumping in the water as nature intended. 

In the late 19th century, male swimmers would don cumbersome, boxy woollen garments, but by the 1920s water-clogged woven flannel swimsuits had become a sodden memory. The fashion for suntans meant both men and women wanted more revealing, tighter-fitting costumes, and so American swimwear company Jantzen developed unisex knitted wool costumes; they became the suits that changed bathing into swimming. The Olympic swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller famously sported one of the first pairs of trunks in the ’30s and by the end of the decade, men swam away from the one-piece silhouette.

Textile innovations led to the invention of tiny nylon and spandex briefs by US swimwear label Speedo in the late ’50s, while in the ’90s the same company led the emergence of super-fast full and half-length body suits. A red trunk-clad David Hasselhoff stomping around babe-filled Los Angeles beaches in Baywatch helped to make trunks a must-have swimwear item for men worldwide in the ’90s, but at the same time, the surfer revolution ushered in the knee-length, loose board shorts that are one of the most common silhouettes on the world’s beaches today.

Recent textile innovations have played a crucial role in smashing Olympic records, as well as resisting chlorine damage and providing protection against harmful UV rays. What further seismic changes will the world of swimwear fashions deliver? Ask your local scientist. 

Image: John Springer Collection/ corbis historical via Getty Images

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Keeping Cool


For centuries, the handheld fan endured as a fashion accessory and even became a tool for secret communication

Keeping Cool


For centuries, the handheld fan endured as a fashion accessory and even became a tool for secret communication

Lifestyle > Fashion


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Keeping Cool

July 10, 2019 / by Zhang Mengyi

Eastern and Western cultures alike have embraced the traditional handheld fan, not only as a temperature-cooling instrument, but also as an accessory that adds a delicate silhouette to a look. For a long time in Europe, these beautiful items were must-have accessories in high society and a true fashion statement for women.

The earliest hand fan was called flabellum and first appeared in ancient Egypt as a tool to keep insects away – an example was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. In its modern incarnation for air flow, handheld fans were first seen in Japan around the sixth century CE. However, it wasn’t until the 17th century, when huge quantities of folding fans were exported from China and Japan to Europe, that they became true fashion staples. In that era, nobility and royalty had multiple fans for a variety of uses – one in the morning, another at night, yet another in the street and yet another for important occasions. 

In 1709, the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers was incorporated in London under the Royal Charter of Queen Anne. Its aim was to help expand the local fan business – paper styles were developed and many artists painted on them, creating a plethora of artworks. 

At around the same time, artisans in France were making fans using imported Chinese bamboo sticks, ostrich feathers, parchment, silk and lace, mounted on ivory or cane and mother-of-pearl. Paris soon became the centre of the fan craft and led the craze among European royalty. 

During the Victorian era, the fan reached the peak of its success as it became more accessible for the emerging middle class. Later on, the slimmer silhouette in fashion encouraged a new style: cockade fans. The leaf could open into a complete circle, but came with a more simple design. As the times changed yet again, in the 20th century they began to fall out of favour, and were primarily used as souvenirs, decorations or advertisements. 

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In a time when women were restricted by social etiquette norms, the fan was also used as a means of communication. A book published in 1797, Fanology or the Ladies Conversation Fan, gave a list of explicit instructions on how to use it to convey discreet messages. According to the book, the English alphabet was divided into five hand positions (with the letter J excluded): 

  • Hold the fan in left hand and touch your right arm = A–E
  • Hold the fan in right hand and touch your left arm = F–K
  • Place the fan against your heart = L–P
  • Raise the fan to your mouth = Q–U
  • Raise the fan to your forehead = V–Z

If you find those rules difficult to remember, especially for more complex sentences, these were some of the more commonly used gestures of the day:

  • Hold the fan with your right hand in front of your face: Follow me.
  • Place the fan near your heart: I love you.
  • Drop the fan: We can be friends.
  • Fan self slowly: I’m married.
  • Fan self quickly: I’m engaged.
  • Open the fan wide: Wait for me.
  • Press a half-closed fan to your lips: You may kiss me.
  • Carry an open fan in your left hand: Come and talk to me.

Images: The Fan Museum; George Wolfe Plank/The Condé Nast Collection, via Getty Images (Woman Getting a Hand-Kissing from a Man)

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Colour Code


Fashion designer Cynthia Mak on her Hong Kong-based knitwear brand, Cynthia & Xiao

Colour Code


Fashion designer Cynthia Mak on her Hong Kong-based knitwear brand, Cynthia & Xiao

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Colour Code

June 26, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

image above: one of the looks from the Cynthia & Xiao autumn/winter 2019 collection

Launched in 2014, Cynthia & Xiao is a Hong Kong-based knitwear label founded by two female designers – Cynthia Mak and Xiao Xiao, who are from Hong Kong and Beijing, respectively. The duo met while studying at London’s Central Saint Martins. Distinguished by its bold and playful style, the label was selected as being one of the Ten Asian Designers to Watch at Fashion Asia Hong Kong 2018. For the spring/summer 2019 collection, called The Bad Habit, Cynthia & Xiao collaborated with Korean illustrator Minkyung Lee to create quirky and vibrant iconography. CDLP spoke with Mak about the challenges of cracking the Chinese market and why Hong Kong shoppers don’t always support their local designers.


Looks from the Cynthia & Xiao autumn/winter 2019 collection

Looks from the Cynthia & Xiao autumn/winter 2019 collection

Is the Mainland China the main focus for your brand these days? 

Well, we were showing in Paris, London and New York, but three years ago we went into the Mainland. We luckily found a showroom that could help us. The Mainland’s market is hard, because stores are very new; brands might not have a website, just WeChat. But sales have grown from our first season to now and it has been significant. The Mainland has overtaken my orders from Europe. And of course, the scale is different. We have around 25 points of sale there now. So yes, we’re focusing more and more on the Mainland. 

Do you design especially for the Mainland market? 

We do tailor some of our designs, yes. I sometimes follow trends, but we care more about ourselves and our feedback from the buyers, who will tell us what sold well last season. We take that and move forward. But if the buyer says a particular fit works, or a certain colour, we will expand on those things. So we take about 50% of outside advice and add 50% of our own ideas. 

The media seems to portray the brand as being for fashionistas, yet Cynthia & Xiao doesn’t feel entirely that way. Would you agree? 

Yes. It’s for fun kinds of girls who feel comfortable with themselves. We do get some cool fashionistas who might wear our stuff and some Hong Kong KOLs [key opinion leaders]. But I don’t see our brand as a KOL thing. I’d rather have more people wearing and touching the product than a KOL endorsement. I also don’t have a massive inventory of stuff, so I don’t need some super high-profile KOL. It’s about the right balance. 

The Mainland is also such a different kind of vibe from Hong Kong. They like that “girl-next-door” look, which is very relatable. These influencers are really successful, but you don’t know who they are. It’s a different type of visibility. 

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What do they like about Cynthia & Xiao? 

We find colour just works. When we started out, the palette was more muted, with navy and grey – the idea being that pieces could be mixed and matched. But as we’ve grown, we’ve incorporated more colour – lots of it! [laughs] – like yellow, red, orange, neon green… stuff that’s really in-your-face. And they sell really well for us. The consumers seem to love it.  

What’s your best-selling piece? 

Our favourite shape is something we call “oversize”. For some girls, it could literally be a dress, but you would have to wear something underneath. Let’s just say it covers the bottoms and is our best-selling shape no matter what we do. Then again, they also don’t want something too long. They like above the knee. If you cover the knee, you look short. And of course, the aim is to look both short and thin. In Shanghai, we always go shorter – a more fitted shape. Sometimes we make longer pieces, too. 

The signature Cynthia & Xiao rabbit and tiger characters, based on the personalities of the two designers, are also reimagined as they explore underwater worlds

The signature Cynthia & Xiao rabbit and tiger characters, based on the personalities of the two designers, are also reimagined as they explore underwater worlds

Hongkongers don’t really seem to support their local designers or their artists for that matter, either. But isn’t the current digital age meant to be all about disruption, inclusion and youth? 

I think there are very good designers in Hong Kong, but they struggle to get visibility. Is that because of the people who read the papers or the advertisers; is it that people only want to read about Gucci? Is it just money? Or is there a genuine lack of curiosity? There’s also a feeling among local consumers that if they buy a Hong Kong designer’s clothes, it should cost less than HK$1,000. So the economics of that equation can just make it hard to survive for local designers, because the quality of fabric and design we produce can’t be sold too cheaply either. And if the designers don’t think the locals will buy their stuff, then perhaps that stops them from being so creative. It’s a catch-22. 

Also, many Hong Kong designers are creative, but they don’t go out of the city. I think you have to force yourself to do stuff out of your comfort zone; it helps you see more, get more exposure and get to know more people. In contrast, if you go to Shanghai, you will find the designers are very creative and dynamic. But then, the Mainland in some ways feels much more advanced than Hong Kong in terms of fashion and art. They are bold, eccentric and fun, and they have strong convictions. 

Would you say that Hong Kong’s consumer taste is changing? 

Yes in that it’s so much easier to buy clothes, with more choices – and that doesn’t necessarily mean buying on the high street, but from Taobao. So getting clothes is easier than it was; people can buy more and try more. But if Hong Kong people have the money to buy name brands, they will; they won’t run away from big brands. 

What are the signature pieces of Cynthia & Xiao? 

The rabbit and tiger prints. Right from the start, they have been selling well. In Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui, there’s a really old man who teaches people how to crochet dolls. He did some for us recently, so now it’s like an evolution of the tiger and the rabbit. These are like alien rabbits, if you will.

Images provided to China Daily

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Abloh and Behold


Creative polymath Virgil Abloh gets his first museum exhibition – at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art

Abloh and Behold


Creative polymath Virgil Abloh gets his first museum exhibition – at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Abloh and Behold

June 12, 2019 / by Sonia Altshuler

image above: Abloh concludes the autumn/winter 2019 Off-White womenswear runway show

Creative visionary Virgil Abloh is quite the polymath entrepreneur; he pioneers a practice that cuts across media and connects visual artists, musicians, graphic designers, fashion labels and architects. The Rockford, Illinois-born designer has his own brand, Off-White, a luxury streetwear label beloved of global hipsters; he designs furniture; he DJs; and he joined global luxury behemoth Louis Vuitton last year in a move that fashion watchers described as a changing of the guard. Lest you didn’t already know – and four years ago, many people didn’t – Abloh held another hugely influential creative role as style adviser to rapper and fashion maven Kanye West. 

It’s fitting, then, that Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art presents Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech, as the first museum exhibition devoted to the 38-year-old. Abloh cultivated an interest in design and music from a young age, inspired by Chicago’s street culture. While pursuing his master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, he connected with West and joined his creative team to work on album covers, concert designs and merchandising. By 2013, Abloh had founded Off-White in Milan; five years later, he became men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton in March 2018 following the departure of Kim Jones for Dior. 

Set in an immersive space designed by the research studio of Rem Koolhaas’s renowned OMA architectural firm, Figures of Speech offers an in-depth look at Abloh’s career-defining highlights, with projects for the likes of IKEA and Nike, and it all makes for premium Instagram viewing. Until September 22; mcachicago.org  

Looks from Louis Vuitton men’s collection (“Dark Side of the Rainbow”) for spring/summer 2019

Looks from Louis Vuitton men’s collection (“Dark Side of the Rainbow”) for spring/summer 2019

Images: Courtesy of Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh. Photo: Enrico Ranzato; Louis Vuitton Malletier/Ludwig Bonnet; Photo: Bogdan Plakov; Photo: Hanna García Fleer; courtesy of the artist; Photo: Matthieu Genre; courtesy of IKEA

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Shop ’til You Drop


Bridging Paris and Shanghai, there’s a new spring to the retail step of the French capital

Shop ’til You Drop


Bridging Paris and Shanghai, there’s a new spring to the retail step of the French capital

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Shop ’til You Drop

June 12, 2019 / by Stéphane Roth

image above: The main entrance of the Galeries Lafayettes Champs Elysées, which celebrates the art deco heritage of Paris with marble columns and geometric shapes

Romain Berninin’s wall painting  Grand Bwa  adorns the second entrance of Beaupassage

Romain Berninin’s wall painting Grand Bwa adorns the second entrance of Beaupassage

Precarious times can induce pleasurable measures. This spring in Paris, the Yellow Vest movement once again made headlines after damaging shops along the Champs Elysées, yet only days later the magnificent avenue saw the opening of the Galeries Lafayette department store. While it may seem like just another retail expansion in a world overly maxed-out by mega-stores, the move was something of a novelty for the French capital, which had seen nothing of this scale open for decades.

Indeed, Paris has always presented limitations in terms of its size, given its few available venues to host large stores. And since most of the city centre is an inventory of heritage sites, it’s challenging to nurture contemporary retail emporia while respecting the city’s architectural code. There’s also the significant factor of economics; Paris, along with Hong Kong, London and New York, is one of the most expensive cities for commercial real estate in the world.

Traditionally, the city has relied on three iconic department stores: Le Bon Marché, Le Printemps and the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. This equilibrium just shifted with the Champs Elysées opening, and will change again next year when La Samaritaine will reopen on the bank of the River Seine after more than a decade’s worth of renovations. Within a 12-month timespan, the retail scene will have changed more than it has in the past decade. 

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The % Arabica cafe at Beaupassage

The % Arabica cafe at Beaupassage

Spot the trend? These openings echo the growing volume of sales to international travellers in Paris, which is not only one of the most visited cities in the world (with more than 17 million visitors per annum), but France also enjoys the highest average spend on duty-free goods by all travellers in Europe. That appetite for shopping, one continuing to grow from Asia, is putting a new spring in Paris’s retail step. 

Located at 60 Avenue des Champs Elysées, the new Galeries Lafayette store is a luxury temple housing more than 800 brands over four floors, comprising 6,500 square metres in a sumptuous 1930s art deco building. This pleasure palace blends fashion, beauty, accessories and gourmet food to create a smooth retail experience that includes private shoppers, connected hangers that inform you if the product you are trying exists in different sizes (yes, really!) and a selection of niche brands. 

The on-site dramatisation is worth a visit to the French capital alone. Some products are displayed on a baggage carousel, lest we had any doubts of its dedication to visitors. Coincidentally, this new Parisian space opened just a few days after a new Galeries Lafayette store in Shanghai, which demonstrates the strength of the Shanghai-Paris connection in terms of retail and luxury.

Cognisant of that axis, and across the Seine in the upscale 7th arrondissement, is the next-gen retail venue Beaupassage, which is also worth a visit. The recently opened space evokes comparable locations in Shanghai in terms of its concept and approach – Columbia Circle and some lanes in the Xingfu Lu neighbourhood, for example. In both cases, it is a closed lane or site renovated around a single identity, mixing works commissioned from contemporary artists, high-end cafes, restaurants and gourmet food boutiques, and a selection of trendy stores. Such an integrated approach is something of a new direction for Paris. 

But it’s a recipe that works: exclusive patisseries and cafés mixed with striking contemporary outdoor artworks that are used to blend an engaging retail concept into a heritage site. Stunning artworks ensure that the site is ubiquitous on Instagram, and the exclusive patisseries ensure constant visitors (especially those with kids) who stop for a sugary treat. Last but not least, the heritage site ensures the uniqueness of the architecture and lends a certain provenance to the site as a whole. 

Beaupassage plays host to the first Pierre Hermé cafe in Paris (until then, the brand only had stores); the second bakery by Thierry Marx, the former chef of the Paris Mandarin Oriental; an outlet of the popular % Arabica cafe, imported from Japan; and two new bistro concepts created by famed chefs Yannick Alléno and Anne-Sophie Pic. This ornate shrine to gourmandism lives side by side with a high-end sports studio and design stores – thus, a 360-degree immersive experience in the heart of the city. 

This retail dialogue between Paris and Shanghai highlights how luxury and travel are reshaping consumption, as well as city architecture, given the vast influence of contemporary Chinese tourism. It’s the new face of retail-tainment – and you can anticipate demand for it to increase.  

All photos © Stéphane Roth

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German Grooves


The young Berlin-based label GmbH delivers a unique take on streetwear – and its first womenswear collection

German Grooves


The young Berlin-based label GmbH delivers a unique take on streetwear – and its first womenswear collection

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

German Grooves

May 29, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Inspired by the unique background of each of its designers, German brand GmbH is a reflection of the country’s diverse cultures. Founded in 2016, the label’s Berlin-based design duo of Turkish-German Serhat Isik and Norwegian-Pakistani Benjamin Alexander Huseby deliver a seamless blend of sporty looks and business-friendly style, which manifests through truly distinctive streetwear. With a focus on sustainability, GmbH doesn’t use animal fur or feathers, opting instead for recycled materials and deadstock factory cloth. At the same time, it’s committed to demonstrating Germany’s high level of quality in manufacturing and tailoring.

For GmbH’s spring/summer 2019 collection, the brand’s first womenswear offerings made their debut, infused with the sense of youthfulness that also appeared throughout the past seasons. Flowing bottoms and nipped-in tops, dresses, one-pieces, quarter-zip fleece jackets and unbuttoned polo shirts were all well-received, while reinforced knees, carabiner attachments and elastic hems served as a style reminder for people on the go looking for garments that are equally comfortable and practical.  

Images: Photos by Li Bohan

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Quantum Style


How designer Mary Quant launched a high-street and aesthetic revolution

Quantum Style


How designer Mary Quant launched a high-street and aesthetic revolution

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Quantum Style

April 17, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Image above: Quant and models at a Quant Afoot launch, 1967

Design for a cowl neck minidress with mustard-yellow tights by Mary Quant, circa 1967

Design for a cowl neck minidress with mustard-yellow tights by Mary Quant, circa 1967

From miniskirts and hot pants to vibrant tights and make-up, Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street. A design and retail pioneer, she popularised super-high hemlines and a range of irreverent looks that became critical to the development of the Swinging Sixties scene. Her legacy is celebrated in Mary Quant, a major exhibition at the V&A in London, which opened on April 6 and runs until February 16, 2020. 

Although Quant is often credited with creating the decade’s most iconic look, the miniskirt, there’s no conclusive evidence to say who first took hemlines a daringly long way north of the knee (French couturier André Courrèges is another possibility). Regardless, extremely short skirts and shift dresses became Quant’s trademark, and were popularised by the era’s most high-profile model, Twiggy, whose willowy figure helped turn ultra-short hemlines into an international trend. 

Miniskirts and dresses were perfectly paired with Quant’s tights and underwear range, one of the first lines produced using the Mary Quant name under licence. She also created the skinny-rib jumper (apparently inspired by trying on an eight-year-old’s sweater for fun) and, in 1966, invented hot pants. Capitalising on the 1960s’ love affair with new materials, she was one of the first designers to use PVC, creating wet-look clothes and different styles of weatherproof boots in her footwear range, Quant Afoot.

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Twiggy wearing a moire taffeta waistcoat and skirt, 1966

Twiggy wearing a moire taffeta waistcoat and skirt, 1966

The Mary Quant Beauty Bus, 1971

The Mary Quant Beauty Bus, 1971

Quant with Vidal Sassoon, by Ronald Dumont, 1964

Quant with Vidal Sassoon, by Ronald Dumont, 1964

As London’s boutique scene was still blossoming, Quant was cementing her position as a commercial and cultural powerhouse. In 1962, she signed a lucrative design contract with US department-store chain JC Penney. In 1966, she was awarded an OBE and published her autobiography, Quant by Quant. The following year, she opened her third shop on London’s New Bond Street. By the end of the decade, Quant was the UK’s highest-profile designer and had achieved unprecedented reach in the market; it was estimated that up to seven million women had at least one of her products in their wardrobe, while thousands more sported the super-modern shades of her Daisy-badged cosmetics range.

For the first half of the 1970s, Quant remained at the forefront of fashion – her work was celebrated in a retrospective exhibition, Mary Quant’s London, at the London Museum in Kensington Palace from November 1973 to June 1974. From the late ’70s onwards, the business produced high-quality womenswear and a variety of products alongside coordinated interior designs for British manufacturing giant ICI, including bedlinen, carpets, paint and wallpaper; diffusion ranges such as swimwear, hosiery, jewellery; the Daisy Fashion Doll; and popular skincare and make-up products. Quant also introduced skincare for men and published books promoting her ideas about cosmetics. 

In 1990, Quant was awarded the prestigious Hall of Fame Award by the British Fashion Council, recognising her many contributions to British fashion. She published her second autobiography in 2012 and became a Dame on the 2015 New Year’s Honours list. Head to the V&A to discover the fashion force whose enduring influence has altered the style landscape forever.  

Images: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Design for a cowl neck minidress with mustard-yellow tights by Mary Quant); Photograph © Terence Donovan, courtesy Terence Donovan Archive/Iconic Images (Twiggy wearing a moire taffeta waistcoat and skirt); © Interfoto Alamy Stock Photo (The Mary Quant Beauty Bus); © PA Prints 2008 (Quant and models at a Quant Afoot launch); provided to China Daily (Quant with Vidal Sassoon, by Ronald Dumont)

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Getting to Know Deveaux


Street-style photographer Tommy Ton’s new creative role heralds a new era for the New York label

Getting to Know Deveaux


Street-style photographer Tommy Ton’s new creative role heralds a new era for the New York label

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Getting to Know Deveaux

April 3, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

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You’ll likely know the name Tommy Ton as the doyen of street-style photographers, who shot the likes of Kanye West and Virgil Abloh together on his Instagram before people knew the latter was the former’s stylist. Ton was shooting on his site Jak & Jil before most people had Facebook, never mind Instagram. His work has graced the pages of Vogue and InStyle, and his snaps of influencers rolling up to fashion shows in Paris, London, Milan and New York acted as a calling card to greater fame for many a blogger and influencer. 

Perhaps it’s only natural, then, that having driven the evolution and cultivation of the digital influencer scene – Ton counts nearly 400,000 followers on his IG – he should finally have cross-pollinated into the world of fashion design with New York-based, American-made luxury brand Deveaux, by co-designers Andrea Tsao and Matthew Breen. The label started life as a menswear collection; Ton’s arrival as creative director has ushered in the introduction of womenswear. 

“Deveaux represents hard work and integrity, especially when it comes to how we manufacture our clothing – all within the US at factories with fair labour standards,” he says proudly. “I also love how inclusive it is – one of the great things about the name Deveaux is that it could be men’s or women’s, and it appeals to a wide age range as well.” 

How does this former street-snapper, who was himself originally inspired by Japanese street-fashion photographers shooting for magazines in Tokyo, find the transition to designing silhouettes for women? “I do think designing for women is a lot easier than men,” he says, noting their predilection for greater experimentation, coupled with their willingness to embrace different silhouettes and proportions compared to men. But still, the male mindset is paramount. “We [Deveaux] never want to get away from our roots of menswear shirting and tailoring,” he says. “Sometimes I envision how I would want my alter ego – I call her Tammy – to dress. And the Deveaux woman is who that alter ego is.”

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Which women in cinema does he envisage wearing today’s Deveaux? “Annie Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow in Great Expectations and Demi Moore in Ghost,” he says. And what are his go-to film fashion inspirations? He cites “Zoolander for a good laugh, Unzipped for a documentary, and Kill Bill for general fashion inspiration.” And what three songs does he imagine would be on the Deveaux woman’s playlist? “Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’, Janet Jackson’s ‘Come Back to Me’ and ‘A Violent Noise’ by The XX.”

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Ton’s film references mirror the classics-revisited feeling of Deveaux’s spring/summer 2019 womenswear collection. “We are always thinking about how to tweak and elevate essentials, and oftentimes that finds its roots in classic silhouettes,” he says. The trio push the envelope with fabrications, too. “While we still keep things luxury and use the best materials, we do try different fabrics, such as papery nylons, taffetas, plaid tablecloth or other unique blends that the mills are working on,” adds Ton. 

The colour palette for spring/summer 2019 is discreet and subdued, in which nude and beige feature prominently, and also lends itself to the idea of androgyny. “The concept of ‘skin’ was the initial starting point,” says Ton. “We were thinking about our Deveaux woman as someone who only wants to reveal so much, and is careful and selective in what she reveals. She likes masculine clothes, but is comfortable with a certain sensuality and femininity. Both give her confidence and empowerment. We then contrasted these luxe feminine fabrications with the papery nylons and masculine twills from our men’s collection. We were thinking about this woman in New York and how she would want to look, but also how she would handle the city in the summer heat.”

Casting played an important role in Ton’s debut womenswear collection, having selected five women of varying ages and careers – including a model mother of two, a certified tea blender, a former forklift driver and a mental health advocate. “They’re women I know other women would instantly relate to and basically girl-crush on,” says Ton. “I’ve always found women of various ages to be the motivating factor in my street photography, and it trickled into the process of designing this collection. I think it’s really important, especially now, to cast models that people can relate to and feel that what they’re wearing is very accessible”

Were there any creative scraps over who and what they all thought the design for a Deveaux woman should be? “Only small ones over how sexy or sensual she would be, or how ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ the collection might be,” recalls Ton. His role is to focus on the creative side, and how clothes should be styled and hang, while Tsao oversees garment construction, fabrication and initial sketching, and Breen addresses fashion from the merchandising perspective and considers the margins. “It really helps that we all get along so well,” says Ton. 

Deveaux doesn’t yet sell in Hong Kong, but its menswear retails at stores in Tokyo and Seoul. “The womenswear is still new to Asia, as it has only been one season, and we have no stockists there yet,” says Ton. “But we are looking to grow the Asian business with the best retail partners, because Asia is where everything is happening now.”

As such, the brand hopes to initiate some launches with stores and introduce the brand to consumers. And how does Ton assess our city’s style? “Hong Kong style is always on the cutting edge,” he says. “The customers in the city really love fashion, and it is about being in the know and being aware of trends.”

Thus far, how has Ton found the creative crossover from street to seams? “It’s been a lot more work than you’d think,” he says. “And I’ve been really surprised by how supportive my former colleagues and all of my friends were.” Let’s hope that support manifests in a Hong Kong store very soon.  

Images provided to China Daily

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Ornate State


Behold the intricate, embellished designs from Matty Bovan’s spring/summer 2019 collection

Ornate State


Behold the intricate, embellished designs from Matty Bovan’s spring/summer 2019 collection

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Ornate State

April 3, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Bold and passionate, British designer Matty Bovan’s wild imagination and punk ethos lead to a fashion dreamland. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2015, Bovan won the L’Oréal Professionnel Creative Award (alongside designer Beth Postle), just after he was awarded the LVMH Prize for graduates. Deeply influenced by his family, Bovan has had great enthusiasm for knitting from a young age.

On the first day of London Fashion Week, Bovan showed his spring/summer 2019 collection, with ornately layered crinolined ball gowns as well as headdresses made from all sorts of scavenged finds. Distended tweeds and cable-tied crochet flowers played an important role, while the eye-catching jewellery was handmade by the designer’s mother.

For a long time, Bovan has made his pieces by hand in his parents’ shed in Yorkshire. However, this time round, he used digital embroidery and turned his illustrations into machine-woven fabric – suggesting a potential scaling-up of his previously limited pieces. We can’t wait to see what’s next.  

Photos: Shaun James Cox

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Izzue View


Today, London; tomorrow, the world. The Hong Kong fashion label makes a capital statement in its bid for global domination

Izzue View


Today, London; tomorrow, the world. The Hong Kong fashion label makes a capital statement in its bid for global domination

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Izzue View

March 20, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

A look from the CSM collaboration

A look from the CSM collaboration

On February 19 at the Strand in London, a palpable sense of excitement pervades the pristine blue skies on the final day of London Fashion Week, as I.T Group-owned brand Izzue prepares for its historic moment – to be the first Hong Kong fashion label to stage a solo runway show in the capital. But this is no ordinary fashion morning, as it turns into a fashion mourning. News has spread at 10am that famed Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has breathed his last and died in Paris. Izzue has inadvertently chosen a prophetic day on which to make a triumphant statement of its own. 

Outside, the ubiquitous crowds of voyeurs, bloggers, stylistas, influencers, KOLs (perhaps ironic that Hong Kong’s oft-used acronym for “key opinion leaders” also could stand for “Karl Otto Lagerfeld”), the furred and the faux-ed jostle to find focus for the lenses of moment-defining street-snappers. The likes of British singer Lily Allen and fashion designer John Rocha arrive for the Izzue show, as does Hong Kong-born, London-based blogger and writer Susannah Lau aka Susie Bubble. 

Not attracting quite the same screen time, though no less culturally visible, is Colombian artist Oscar Murillo with his wife and child. David Zwirner, the renowned gallerist who represents the artist, calls him this generation’s Jean-Michel Basquiat. “Well, I live in London, as you know, so it’s natural that I come to the shows,” says Murillo, who recently staged the inaugural show at Zwirner’s Hong Kong gallery in H Queen’s. “I’ve been in Hong Kong quite a lot recently, so it’s a great chance to see the Izzue cool over here in London.” 

Cool and innovative Izzue may be, but behind the scenes two hours pre-show in the lobby of the Me London hotel, I.T’s chief commercial officer, Deborah Cheng, is a combination of pride and anxiety – almost like an expectant mother. “It’s like I’m going into labour,” half-jokes Cheng. “And you don’t know whether it’s going to be a boy or a girl, or maybe even twins! We spent so much time and effort to get the show on schedule for today. I really hope you guys like it.” 

What’s not to like? Izzue, set up in 1999, has been on one continuous and experimental mission to pursue design innovation, brand collaborations and projects that pre-empt future trends, along with nurturing design talent by supporting the work of students through top-tier establishments such as Tsinghua University in Beijing and Central Saint Martins (CSM) in London. 

Another image from the CSM lookbook

Another image from the CSM lookbook

Izzue’s investment in London’s creative scene marks the launch of its capsule collaboration with two CSM students, who were chosen following a design competition, alongside the activewear brand Phvlo and overseen by the school’s MA fashion design course director, Fabio Peras. As well as being on the runway, the designs form part of a ten-piece portfolio currently selling in Selfridges. 

In keeping with the I.T-owned brand’s “Live it Real” mantra, the show gets underway at exactly 2pm, parading Izzue’s key items (or #izzueessentials) of striped tees, sweatshirts, trench coats, down puffers, bikers and shirts/blazers. The looks and theme reflect the difficulties of living in the now – questioning what drives feelings of insecurity or displacement in today’s youth, and how they can best equip themselves to combat such emotions. 

“It’s coming out of the comfort zone,” explains Cheng. “So we pay a lot of attention to our core design elements, which is trench coats, stripes, jackets… all these elements we’ve used for the longest time. And the feeling of the whole British punk thing. It’s genderless. I think it’s the whole trend now, that a lot of different brands are doing genderless. You’ve got men doing womenswear and women doing menswear shows, so it’s getting more flexible.”

Cuts and forms on the runway are deconstructed, and the show proposes the notion of repurposing, reconstructing and reusing clothes as a way of reacting to life’s challenges and outcomes. Experimental PVC makes its way into tailoring and a utilitarian military theme underscores the sense of modern urban combat.  

In a marvellous finale, model-actress Shum Yuet, who is also the daughter of I.T Group boss Sham Kar-wai and actress Chingmy Yau, led the pack in shimmering white to conclude her runway debut. It’s a champagne moment indeed. 

One of the CSM design concepts

One of the CSM design concepts

CDLP sits front-row with Piras for Izzue’s show. How does he assess the brand’s culture and the way ahead? “This whole project has been about bringing youth as a creative entity, and bringing young students as the creative entity, to contribute to the philosophy of Izzue – which is about youth, and about movement and a community that needs to buy and wear easy and appealing products,” he says. 

Sustainability also doesn’t need to be a complicated matter, he adds, eyes wide open to the idea of another Izzue x CSM collaboration. “At the end of the day, you want novelty and innovation in materials, and you want an entity like Izzue to choose a material that is not what they use all the time.” 

So what would Piras propose for a follow-up crossover? “I would go with a range of T-shirts, sweatshirts and something totally visual,” he says. “At the end of the day, it needs to be fast. It can be a very simple choice, such as which cottons you use, which nylons you use. You can do something really simple just by using one element that changes everything.” 

Which sounds a lot like the ideal tagline for Izzue. Today, London; tomorrow, the world, as the brand activates plans to expand its stores beyond its current stable in Asia. Hong Kong’s global fashion moment may be at hand at the helm of Izzue and I.T, and we’re certain the anti-sentimental, future-driven Mr Lagerfeld would have approved.  

Images provided to China Daily

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