Meet three of Hong Kong’s standout designers who will be hitting the New York Fashion Week runway this season in a group show.
Newsflash: fashion, really good fashion, does indeed exist outside of Paris, Milan, London and New York. After all, it’s — gasp! — a fashion world, people. In other words, definitely, do not judge who’s the hippest fashion city of them all by their fashion week front rows.
It’s getting better. Fashion folks are waking up! Progressive proof: Have you too slid under your desk as a result of the head-turning Seoul Fashion Week street style snaps on Vogue and like, every HYPEBEAST-y publication? You’re not a true street style photographer if you’re not in Seoul. Sorry. The selection of hats (bucket hats, military hats, berets, oh my!) and the insanely stylish Instagram-famous toddlers could/should/often do get their very own posts. (An additional shout-out to Tbilisi Fashion Week who have been scoring some elite fashion publication press as of late.)
Next (absolutely necessary) stop? Hong Kong! (And it’s just a four-hour flight away from Seoul!) Listen closely: In recent years, Hong Kong is aptly being recognized as a can’t-miss creative capital. Particularly in March, when style stars (and, oh yeah, artists) will flock to the fifth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. But who really goes for the art? (Just kidding.) Basel will once again coincide with amFAR Gala Hong Kong, which is only in its fourth year, so expect quite the VIP list — it’s drawn the designer-clad likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, et fabulous al in the past. Meanwhile, 2017 boasted a sea of major fashion fêtes that make the New York fashion scene look like a sample sale rack: Donatella was in town for the champagne-flowing opening of a two-floor Versace flagship store replete with a runway show; Vetements held a surprise pop-up at a ferry terminal where many a fan lined up for over twenty-four hours; Virgil Abloh opened his second OFF-WHITE Hong Kong outpost. Take note that Abloh’s inaugural store opened in 2014 in, you guessed it, Hong Kong, proving that he’s known that there’s something in the Hong Kong sartorial-slaying water since back when men’s skinny jeans were still a thing.
Then there’s this: Just last week, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council held its 49th Hong Kong Fashion Week, presenting runway shows and presentations, seminars and Asia’s largest trade fair, which featured 1,400 exhibitors from 13 countries. In other words, have we provided enough examples illustrating how the Hong Kong fashion scene is as big as the Big Buddha?
Can’t afford a trip to one of the most expensive cities in the world? Same, but that’s okay. Affordable option: Do whatever you need to do to score an invite to Fashion Hong Kong at New York Fashion Week, where three of Hong Kong’s standout designers will hit the runways in a group show. Fashion Hong Kong is in its third year at NYFW, and it’s organized by the aforementioned Hong Kong Trade Development Council, whose mission is to execute a series of international events to promote Hong Kong fashion designers and labels in the global fashion arena. We’re here to clue you in on the trio of killer designers whose lines range from sophisticated leather-heavy looks to Björk-attends-the-amFAR-gala faint-inducing numbers. You’re very welcome.
HEAVEN PLEASE +
It’s quite tempting to just call it like we see it: HEAVEN PLEASE + is a cool as shit label not meant for the faint of the fearless fashion heart. It’s Sporty Spice and Björk launch a cuckoo collection with the lookbook styled by an Olsen. It’s a Maison The Faux X Mulberry collaboration. It’s Christina Applegate and her girl squad in ‘90s cult classic ‘Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead’ meets Below 14th Street millennial gallerists. It’s a Guggenheim gala sponsored by Tumblr. It’s Sia for Opening Ceremony. It’s Disney Princesses Gone Wild. It’s zany and dramatic layering of alternative textures and graphics. It’s playful and dreamy, visceral and hypnotic. It’s a lot and it’s everything… heavenly. (Sorry, had to.) HEAVEN PLEASE + was founded in 2011 by Yi Chan, formerly a Marie Claire HK fashion editor, and Lary Cheung, both who attended the Hong Kong Polytechnic University where they majored in fashion design. They’re all about “sportswear with a couture feeling,” and their collections are always influenced by art, literature and especially music. It’s not exactly a shocker that they’re dying to dress the xx and Björk, and, fun fact, they got their name (HEAVEN PLEASE +) from their favorite song (“Heaven Please”) by (the now inactive) melancholic indie band, Devics. Of course, the club kids and the artsy types are big on HEAVEN PLEASE +, but they’ve also got quite the businesswomen fanbase. As for their most loyal customer? A psychology professor. Which just proves that every woman needs a water repellent, Not A Skirt, Not Yet A Coat in their closet. It’ll be the duos first time in New York let alone their first time showing at New York Fashion Week, which is shocking because they are so New York. We have a feeling they’ll feel right at home, particularly Below 14th Street.
Anveglosa is all about leather. And lots of it. But we’re not talking catsuits and hotpants. The sophisticated albeit with a subtle femme fatale high-kick line launched back in 2007. Anveglosa’s self-taught designer and tailor, Annette Chan, prides herself on utilizing the finest leathers imported from Europe with all products manufactured in Anveglosa’s very own Hong Kong leather factory. Mostly attracting women in their early thirties and above, Chan continuously aims to create duds that “draw your attention not through exaggeration and loudness, but with a quiet charm,” and to empower women. (By the way, it’s a female family affair, as her two daughters help their mom run the luxe line.) Aforementioned mission accomplished. Figure-flattering cuts, classic silhouettes, and exquisite craftsmanship, oh my! In the past few collections, rag & bone, Bottega Veneta, Sally LaPointe vibes have been involved. Also, there’s been many a Black Mirror-ish dystopian look. Striking a fine balance between head-turning statement pieces and sophisticated subtlety, Anveglosa would fit perfectly on a rack at Harvey Nichols. (Actually, that’s already happened for Anveglosa at Harvey Nichols’ Hong Kong.) Think Katie Holmes sipping cocktails at The Boom Boom Room. Think Charlize Theron kicking ass in ‘Atomic Blonde.’ Think Rihanna in line at Duane Reade. It’s all happening. Though Anveglosa is super successful in Hong Kong and around several parts of Asia, New York Fashion Week will be Anveglosa’s runway debut. She’s up for the challenge like an ‘Atomic Blonde’ brawl. Sartorial spoiler alert: The FW 18 will be inspired by the opera. I’ll have one ticket for an afternoon at the opera, please.
Someone get VFILES and/or OAK on the phone ASAP. For over a decade, Harrison Wong’s namesake label has evolved and established itself as one of Hong Kong’s top forward-thinking, no-fucks-given menswear labels. Well, mostly menswear — he’s created Lorde and Lykke Li-friendly womenswear in the past, and his NYFW show will (thankfully) include some womenswear. Many of his looks, particularly outerwear, often does the immaculately unisex and gender-bending damn thing, anyway. The London College of Art graduate boasts a handful of stores in Hong Kong, and an army of models have stormed the catwalks to shadowy soundtracks in his looks at several fashion weeks including Tokyo and London. So his cool kid, goth glam cult following makes sense. He’s basically the Alexander Wang of Hong Kong. Wong perpetually delivers chaotic, sculptural cuts and both simple and unusual material-mixing replete with splashes of borderline gothy opulence. He’s highly talented in the deconstructing and reinterpreting streetwear and five-star hotel bar attire department. A Yohji Yamamoto influence with a sprinkle of Junya Watanabe seems obvious, but that’s a deliciously dark thing.
Fashion Hong Kong will be held at Industria Studios at noon on February 9th, 2018