If LFW stands guarantee for one thing, it’s showcasing new, fresh and original designers. With Brexit a mere six weeks away, there is a general state of uncertainty that comes with an urge to identify new markets, beyond Europe. Enter the Hong Kong Trade Development Council: the key goal of the council is promoting Hong Kong’s culture as well as sourcing new business opportunities in different markets. After a successful debut in fashion last year, the council returns to the British capital with Fashion Hong Kong and brings four Hong Kong designers with them, each with ties to prestigious London-based fashion universities. Connecting the creative hub of Asia with the established yet trendsetting fashion scene of London, Fashion Hong Kong sets out to bridge the gap between East and West, and let’s be honest in this globalised world, why should there even be a gap?

Set in The Old College, each room provided an immersive experience and unique chance to pick the brain of the four creatives presenting their AW19 collection. Whether it was palm-reading, splashes of colour, a grunge hostel or a luxurious reading room, all guests were in for a - fashion - treat.

An intimate salon, complete with millennial pink walls, served as the backdrop for House of V’s AW19 collection. Models were dressed in elegant and sophisticated garments that had a fierce twist to them. Be it the micro-shades, beaded skirts or the vivid shade of turquoise, House of V is a brand to be reckoned with. Designer and CSM-alumni Cynthia Mak was inspired by Damien Hirst’s iconic and controversial spot paintings, recreating the combination of randomly selected colours yet making them coincide in perfect harmony. Palm reading card were provided both inducing fun as well as introducing Hong Kong culture to their diverse audience. The palm reading had to be done later as an explosion of colour was taking place across the room for the Loom Loop presentation. Models walked on stage wearing black cover-ups only to dramatically rip them open en expose her AW19 Concrete Jungle collection.

Inspired by the craftsmanship and rich heritage of Canton Silk, the University of Central England graduate Polly Ho founded the brand Loom Loop, with which she hopes to retell stories of the past and in doing so giving them a new life. Her Concrete Jungle collection is informed by the quintessentially Chinese symbol of a tiger. Capturing the juxtaposition of classic and modern inherent to Hong Kong, bright colours clashed with screaming Eastern-inspired prints. Following the ethos of ‘More is More’ faces were dusted with bright hues, creating stunning pieces of art.

Contrasting the ethereal room of pastel pantones, was the grunge-like hostel. Bunkbeds had the word utopia emblazoned across it, models were busy making artwork and there was live music. University of Westminster alumni Yeung Chin takes inspiration from art installations and defying contemporary aesthetics through the destruction of them, spoken like a true visionary. His AW19 collection, Utopia, tells the story of people from different backgrounds confined in a small space, forced to live together. Leaving us with an impressive, art-like, presentation during LFW.

The last stop on our walk through the world of Hong Kong designers was that of CSM alumni, Doris Kath. Welcoming us to a sophisticated reading room where models were dressed in stunning and meticulously tailored evening wear, exuding elegance. Remarkably there weren’t reading, yet staring at themselves in the mirror, as her AW19 collection, M.E. draw inspiration from the French psychoanalyst Lacan, and his theory concerning the first encounter with our self in the mirror. With her collection she intends to emphasise the contrast between the imaginary self and the true self.

With a drink in our hand, we congratulate the four designers and hope to help establish this bridge between Eastern and Western talent and fashion with them.

Words by Lupe Baeyens
Images by Maisie Poyntz