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Heritage Museum displays local fashion designs

Fashion is a representation of culture. Fashions of different eras have their different characteristics, which also mirror the changes of economic development, social life and the taste of consumers.

To review Hong Kong's fashion history and its development, Hong Kong Heritage Museum in collaboration with Ms Judy Mann, a renowned fashion designer, presents the "Fashion Attitude–Hong Kong Fashion Design" exhibition from tomorrow (August 19) until March 31, 2008, at the Heritage Museum.

This innovative exhibition is the fifth programme in the "Hong Kong Design Series" organised by the Heritage Museum and is also one of the programmes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of HKSAR.

The exhibition was opened today (August 18) at a ceremony led by the Acting Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Mr Chung Ling-hoi, Ms Judy Mann, Chairman of the Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association, Mr Kevin Yeung, and nine participating local fashion designers, Barney Cheng, Lu Lu Cheung, Ika, Peter Lau, Spy Henry Lau, Walter Ma, William Tang, Pacino Wan and Benny Yeung.

Mr Chung said the Heritage Museum had been devoted to collecting, studying and exhibiting works of local designers since its establishment. Tremendous efforts had also been invested in promoting "design" to publicise the local culture.

"It is the first exhibition in our museums to use fashion as the subject. It aims to showcase the innovation and creativity of Hong Kong fashion design as well as review the changes in the local fashion trends. The participating designers have their own individual charisma and the works on display are their representative pieces," Mr Chung said.

The exhibition is divided into three parts. The first part, "The Evolution of Hong Kong Fashio", reviews Hong Kong's fashion history from the 1950s to 2000s through text and photos. The turning point for local fashion came in the 1960s when the local economy took flight and the textile industry boomed. The Hong Kong Ready-to-Wear Festival, launched in 1967, was the first large-scale showcase for local designers, and their creations attracted many international buyers. In the following decades, Hong Kong secured itself a leading position as Southeast Asia's design hub by producing an impressive list of fashion designers and fashion labels. Today, Hong Kong fashion has spread its wings beyond the region.

Turning the gallery into a catwalk, the second part showcases some 80 representative works of nine established Hong Kong fashion designers. The works best represent the designers' attitudes to fashion, reflect the innovation of local fashion design and the diverse dress culture. Established veterans and young designers were invited to take part in the exhibition, which reveals their creative concepts that boast great individuality and charisma. They brilliantly combine visual art with the requirement to cater to an essential need.

Barney Cheng is widely known for his haute couture designs. He is extremely sensitive to his customers' lifestyles and tastes, and his works are often seen at galas and star events. Exhibits on display include a black and gold crystal encrusted cheongsam with train wore by Michelle Yeoh in the Oscar Academy Awards 2001, a gold embroidered tissue cheongsam, a crochet chiffon stripeless gown wore by Ms Christy Chung in the Hong Kong Film Awards.

Lu Lu Cheung's designs are subtle yet full of character and appeal to the working elite. Her works include evening dresses, bridal gowns and casual wears in the Flash Collection,"'X' as in exchanged" Collection, Portrait Collection and "Heaven Eyes" Collection are put on display.

Ika, an ethnic Chinese Indonesian, skilfully injects Indonesian cultural characteristics into her designs, which are full of ethnic charm. Highlight exhibits include the works of the "Mother & Child" Collection, the "Sahara Crossing" Collection, and the evening dress in the "Kitcheree" Collection.

Peter Lau is a bold fashion artist who infuses modern fashion with traditional Chinese elements to create a surprisingly appealing hybrid image of Western, contemporary and sensual elegance. His design such as a red mesh overlapping cheongsam dress with silk embroidered short sleeves, a black mandarin collared sheer corset gown, a silk brocade mini cheongsam with ostrich feathers hem and an alpaca fleece topper with embroidered trim patched stomacher and tartan mini skirt are shown in the exhibition.

Henry Lau has an international vision and seeks exotic inspirations. His designs are very contemporary. His "Spy" Collection, "To Russia with Love" Collection, a cotton lace tuxedo jacket featured in Hacken Lee Concert and a silk brocade gown with wool butterfly and ivy beading worn by Ms Emily Lo in her wedding album are the highlights in the exhibition.

Walter Ma adopts a diversified design approach. From menswear to women's wear, from casual daywear to extravagant evening gowns, he never fails to show ingenuity and revolutionary innovations. The works on display include an one-piece black chiffon evening dress with flower applique in layered fabric featured in the Busan/Korea Fashion Week Show, an one-piece gold mandarin collared silk satin gown with string sequence shown in the Dubai Trade Development Council Fashion Week and an evening dress in the "Hollywood Glamour" Collection.

William Tang is an expert at juxtaposing life's experiences with the arts such as music and drama in his designs. His works express a strong individualistic style. His "King of Kowloon 10 Years Revisited" Collection is highlighted in the exhibition.

Pacino Wan's designs reflect his keen observation of details of daily life in a highly creative perspective which creates a certain ironic flair. The "Wedding Banquet" Collection, "Hong Kong is My Home" Collection and "Happy Birthday 2000" Collection which include evening dresses and denim wears are shown in the exhibition.

Benny Yeung is also widely known for his haute couture designs. His works are refined with three-dimensional silhouettes and intricate workmanships. He stresses that designs should complement the wearers' personality and the occasion. On display are a red leather and French lace dress with long silk tassels wore by Ms Frances Yip in the Fai Wong Live In Concert, a one piece black silk brocade dress with fuchsia flower applique wore by Lydia Sum in her concert 2000 and an off-white swakara top and silk velvet dress with fox fur details.

In the last part, there is a showcase of seven sets of film and concert costumes to pay tribute to the local fashion designers, who have made significant contributions to the entertainment industry. The entertainment business has always played an important role in Hong Kong culture. Many local fashion designers have designed costumes and images for movies and music concerts. With professional expertise and perseverance, they have made a name both locally and overseas.

Highlight exhibits include Spy Henry Lau's leather ensemble with deer horn shoulder and crystal beading shown in Hacken Lee's concert and a series of costumes in the film "Perhaps Love" designed by Yee Chung-man.

Located at 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, the Heritage Museum opens from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Admission is $10, with a half-price concession for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and full-time students. Admission is free on Wednesdays.

Car parking is available at the Heritage Museum. Those who prefer to use public transport may take the KCR Ma On Shan line to the Che Kung Temple station, which is within five minutes' walk of the museum.

For enquiries, call 2180 8188. For details of the exhibition, visit the Heritage Museum's website at .

Ends/Saturday, August 18, 2007
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