Designers, buyers and Tai Tais gather for Asia’s largest fashion event.
By Samantha Sault
The Hong Kong Trade & Development Council held Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2012 and the Hong Kong World Boutique in January. The largest fashion event in Asia and the second-largest fashion event in the world, the exhibition brought together designers, brands and buyers from over 40 countries. Hong Kong is perhaps the most important city in Asia for shopping luxury retail, and now, for cultivating up-and-coming designers.
Designer to Watch
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Hidy Ng has already made a name for herself in Asia, having won numerous awards for her knitwear. Her line is sold in Harvey Nichols stores in Hong Kong and local boutiques throughout Asia and Europe, but her sequin and lace gowns, as well as her luxe fur toppers for Fall/Winter 2012, would likely be a big hit with Washington women looking for fresh cocktail attire.
Shanghai’s Qi Gang is one of Mainland China’s top designers and chairman of the China Fashion Designers Association. His avant-garde collection, featured in the Hong Kong Fashion Extravaganza, closed with spectacular architectural gowns perfect for Lady Gaga’s next red carpet appearance.
The looks coming out of Hong Kong are all cutting-edge. Modessa Couture, a Chinese-based brand with two Lebanese designers, showed sparkling gowns with a twist, like printed skirts and hot-pant bodysuits with flowing trains. Meiyi Chung showed punchy neon palettes and a cool white feathered dress, while Ika Butoni showed mixed prints and textured leathers and velour fabrics, in shades of black and white. Finally, we loved a convertible, studded leather-vest jacket by the new sustainable leather line, Methodology, which will officially launch later this year.
From Lanvin to Local Boutiques
Mainland Chinese visit Hong Kong in droves to shop tax-free, and no stylish trip to Hong Kong is complete without retail therapy. After you’ve perused the latest runway looks in the designer stores in Pacific Place in Admiralty, wander the Mid-Levels and Hollywood Road in Central for local boutiques, art galleries, and antique stores. If you’re looking for cutting-edge styles like those seen at Fashion Week, head to Moda Molino for edgy local brands, like Attra Thru, whose black sweater dress with studded leather cuffs was irresistible. If vintage is more your thing, Select 18 stocks designer vintage — including Dior dresses and an impressive selection of eye-wear at shockingly affordable prices for both men and women. You can cross all the gifts off your list at Goods of Desire (G.O.D.), a must-visit for kitschy housewares, cheeky accessories (with red stars), and mod furniture. The name is somewhat controversial, but is actually the phonetic sound for Cantonese slang, “to live better.”