Hong Kong CENTRESTAGE 2018, China

Hong Kong CENTRESTAGE is Asia’s premier fashion event, offering a promotion platform for fashion brands and designers to showcase their talent. Events such fashion shows, designer sharing sessions, open talks, trend analyses and networking opportunities, with the objective of connecting local brands with the global fashion industry.

CENTRESTAGE 2018 was the largest edition ever, with a record 230 fashion brands from 22 countries and regions participating. The fair also presents 40 not-to-be- missed events over its four-day run, including more than 20 fashion shows. Fairgoers can also attend designer sharing sessions, industry seminars, networking events and other activities.

This year’s event centre on the theme of “TOMORROW LAB”. It feature three thematic zones: ALLURE – representing craftsmanship, refinement and elegance; ICONIC – displaying contemporary, chic and avant-garde designs; and METRO – showcasing casual, youthful expressions of urban life.

The Hong Kong CENTRESTAGE showcase of high-calibre local and overseas fashion talents, and exciting, engaging events was held during the show period. It has created a fashion extravaganza that enables brands to overcome geographical and time limitations to showcase their latest designs to buyers and fashionistas.

CENTRESTAGE to provide a comprehensive promotional platform through which Asian fashion brands and budding designers can launch and present their latest fashion collections and connect with global buyers and fashionistas at the same time. A greater number of local and international fashion brands participating at this year’s CENTRESTAGE, underscoring the event’s position as Asia’s leading launch and marketing platform for fashion brands and highlighting its ability to create diverse business opportunities.

Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s (HKTDC) signature international fashion fair, This year’s event feature international brands over multiple catwalks, engaging fashion forums with industry professionals, insightful talks by esteemed guests, and more.

The HKTDC has organised 35 buying missions to visit the show, bringing buyers from more than 1,100 companies from 25 countries and regions, including Galeries Lafayette from France, Isetan from Japan, as well as select shops Antonioli from Italy, VooStore from Germany, Labelhood, Anyshopstyle, The Fashion Door and D2C from the Chinese mainland, along with local representatives from Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols and online shop Farfetch.

The first evening of CENTRESTAGE 2018 put three top Asian brands and their newest collections under the spotlight, including award-winning Japanese avant-garde streetwear label FACETASM by Hiromichi Ochiai. FACETASM present its latest collection at CENTRESTAGE ELITES, showcasing the designer’s bold and eclectic designs.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong brand IDISM launch its newest line of ready-to-wear womenswear at CENTRESTAGE ELITES. Design duo Julio Ng and Cyrus Wong debuted IDISM in 2016 and have since participated in Paris Fashion Week several times. In 2017, the label was selected as one of Vogue’s Talents, while also being dubbed “The Future of Asia” by YOHO! magazine. With the brand’s philosophy based on being active, true to nature, attuned to the senses and following a distinctive lifestyle, IDISM was created for the spontaneous lifestyle of the contemporary city woman, which manifests true beauty coming from within.

At the same catwalk show, Chinese luxury womenswear label Ms MIN reveal its newest collection. Its founder Min Liu, mentored by fashion mogul Sarah Rutson, has built a fashion empire around an aesthetic that seamlessly meshes modernity with classicism.

Since its inception in 2012, FASHIONALLY has been presenting FASHIONALLY Collection shows at Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer and CENTRESTAGE each year to showcase the latest collections from emerging Hong Kong talent. FASHIONALLY Collection #12 feature 10 up- and-coming local designers who exemplify Hong Kong’s excellence in creativity and fashion design.

With a mission to promote Hong Kong’s young designers, online fashion hub FASHIONALLY present FASHIONALLY Collection #12 and FASHIONALLY Presentation shows at CENTRESTAGE 2018, featuring spring/summer 2019 (SS19) collections from 13 local designer labels.

Participating brands include 112mountainyam (designer: Mountain Yam), Blind by JW (designers: Walter Kong and Jessica Lau), CAR | 2IE (designer: Carrie Kwok), DEMO. (designer: Derek Chan), FromClothingOf (designer: Shirley Wong), KEVIN HO (designer: Kevin Ho), LAPEEWEE (designer: Yannes Wong), NECRO POON (designer: Necro Poon), phenotypesetter (designer: Jane Ng) and YEUNG CHIN (designer: Yeung Chin).

FASHIONALLY has also invited winners of the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC) 2017 to display their latest works at the fair, including a limited-edition capsule collection by Arto Wong available at JOYCE Pacific Place, Sonic Lam’s special wool outfit created in collaboration with The Woolmark Company, and the ete! x YDC Best Footwear Design Award Capsule Collection “I Go to School by Bus” designed by Jason Lee and sponsored by i.t apparels Ltd.

FASHIONALLY Presentation, an unconventional hybrid of fashion show and theatrical play, debuted at Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2018. This edition spotlight three budding Hong Kong labels – Tak Lee, REDEMPTIVE, and YLYstudio – each of which is given complete creative freedom to decorate the stage and direct the presentation around the unique set. Their presentations unveil the designers’ latest SS19 collections while offering a rare glimpse into their creative journeys. These labels are participating in a FASHIONALLY show for the first time.

Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest 2018
The Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest 2018 (YDC) was another highlight of this year’s CENTRESTAGE. The judging panel include Lawrence Leung, Chairman of the HKTDC Garment Advisory Committee and Michael Mok, General Manager of Merchandising/Head of Merchandising at JOYCE Boutique Ltd, while internationally renowned fashion designer Martine Rose was the VIP judge.

YDC has successfully nurtured and promoted a new generation of Hong Kong fashion design talent since 1977. This year, 16 shortlisted candidates l compete for five awards including the New Talent Award and Best Footwear Design Award. Arto Wong, last year’s Champion and New Talent Award winner, release her capsule collection Zero to Unlimited at JOYCE this August and display it at CENTRESTAGE this September.

Champion: Designer: Leo Chan. Design: “Wandervögel”
The collection aims to revive the spirt of the German movement “Wandervögel”, which embraces nature and freedom, as an antidote to hectic city life. The colour scheme reflects the great outdoors, with black and green representing nature and the unknown. The designer playfully explains that khaki is meant to be marks and stains accumulated from outdoor excursions. The designer’s focus on functional techwear led him to include in his collection a jacket that doubles as a one-man tent.

First Runner-up: Designer: Yip Yeung-yeung, Bicy. Design: “Modificism”
Designer explores in her collection of the controversy between science and genetic modification. She mixes colours and shapes that challenge the norm to illustrate her point, which results in pieces that have a bizarre, Frankenstein-like quality, such as a cape that is essentially a single sleeve attached to a sweater designed to be worn upside down, and a knitted top made with straps. The knit fabrics used, such as tubular jacquard with inlay stitches or embroidery, are unmistakably inspired by human cells. The conspicuous colouration of sharp neon – lime, marigold and poppy red – seems to send out warning signals.

Second Runner-up: Designer: Ng Cho-kiu, Charlotte. Design: “Everything in its Right Place”
Ms Ng presents a visual simulation of United Kingdom rock band Radiohead’s song “Everything in its Right Place”. Converting the track into sound waves, she uses the lines and curves to form her collection. The silky-smooth fabric “grooves” freely, and is punctuated by sturdy, double-faced wool that symbolises bold electronic beats. Each piece has a meticulously clean finish, with perfect precision achieved by using various techniques from laser cut to hand stitching. Ms Ng delivers the collection with the same sentiment as that in Radiohead’s decade-old song: “It is Perfect, It is Everything!”

The event also feature the latest works by other YDC 2017 winners, including Sonic Lam, who has partnered with Woolmark to develop a new outfit made with wool, and Jason Lee, winner of last year’s Best Footwear Design Award, who showcase his capsule collection I Go to School by Bus.

Highlight Events
Redress, a non-government organisation promoting environmental fashion, present the Redress Design Award, the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, on 6 Sep. The Knitwear Innovation and Design Society present the Knitwear Symphony 2018 & the 8th Hong Kong Knitwear Designers’ Contest on 7 Sep to promote Hong Kong’s knitwear design and wool manufacturing capabilities. On the same day, renowned local designer Dorian Ho stage a fashion show to unveil the latest collection of his namesake label.

The Meet the Visionaries Series includes a 6 Sept seminar, themed “In Conversation with the Asian Creative Forces Shaping the International Fashion Scene”, featuring three of Asia’s top fashion talents, who are also participating in CENTRESTAGE’s opening gala show CENTRESTAGE ELITES. They are Japanese designer Hiromichi Ochiai, who took the fashion world by storm launching his highly acclaimed FACETASM label in 2007; Hong Kong-based designers Cyrus Wong and Julio Ng, who co-founded IDISM in 2016; and Ian Hylton, President of the Ms MIN label launched in 2011 by Min Liu, one of China’s top fashion designers. Brand concepts, inspiration and insights into the future of Asia’s fashion scene was discussed during the session.

On 7 Sep, a seminar under the series was hosted by internationally acclaimed London-based fashion designer Martine Rose. Founded in 2007, the Martine Rose label is distributed worldwide through partnerships with leading retailers such as Barneys, Dover Street Market, Isetan, and JOYCE. The designer also has an ongoing consultancy with Balenciaga menswear. Ms Rose share her story and anecdotes from her career as a fashion designer, which look certain to offer fascinating insights.

Fashion Experts to Explore Future Trends Anupreet Bhui, Senior Editor of Global Street Style at WGSN, take part in a 5 Sept seminar under the Trend Talk Series to discuss what is next for the fashion industry and offer her expert advice. Under the topic “WGSN Fashion Forecast A/W 19/20 – Street Style, Luxury and Culture WGSN”, Ms Bhui explore the key items, colours and macro trends that determine the mood, feel and socio-cultural movements for the season ahead. The style guru l also address the rising influence of streetwear among Gen Z (Generation Z, referring to the generation born since the millennium) consumers and share her thoughts on how the trend continue to evolve.

Another trend talk titled “Global Fashion Overview – Digitalisation Throughout” was held on 6 Sept and led by Jorge Martin, Head of Fashion Research at Euromonitor International. In this presentation, Mr Martin analyse the digital state of play of the global fashion industry in 2018 and how these and other takes on technology are transforming the fashion industry.

Additional Attractions Fashion Summit on 6-7 Sept, Asia’s largest conference focusing on sustainable fashion, return after its inauguration last year, featuring the theme “Circular Economy”. Leading academics, key industry players, non-government organisations, decision makers and leaders from various disciplines and geographical locations exchange insights on how to make the fashion industry more sustainable. Participants in the two-day conference include representatives of H&M Group, Lane Crawford, Vogue Australia, Wal-Mart Stores, WWF-Hong Kong, and The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA).

The final day of CENTRESTAGE, titled “OPENSTAGE”, open to public visitors aged 12 and above free of charge. On 8 Sept, attendees have free access to the Fashionista’s Sharing Series featuring key fashion editors, a make-up demonstration by NARS, a fashion and music event named “CENTRESTAGE Live House: Busking x Fashion Bazaar,” and more. Public visitors have a chance to check out the latest designs from leading local and overseas brands.

Hong Kong in Fashion
To spread the fashion buzz to the wider community, the Hong Kong in Fashion citywide campaign was held from mid-August to the end of September in collaboration with over 100 partners, including fashion boutiques, fashion design institutes, restaurants and hotels. More than 90 events was held across the city for public participation, including workshops, competitions, fashion parades and exhibitions.

Running from 15 Aug to 30 Sept, the diverse range of activities aims to garner wider attention and generate “fashion heat” citywide. On 26 Aug, singer Det Dik join the “Fashion in Town” flash mob along with a group of dancers at Fashion Walk in Paterson Street, Causeway Bay.

Other highlighted activities include “Mira Mira Funk it up” fashion dance performances at Mira Place and The Mira Hong Kong hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui (25 Aug), the CENTRESTAGE Fashion Afternoon Tea Set promotion at The Mira Hong Kong hotel (25 Aug-30 Sep), the “Fashion Experience: Fashiongram in Town” photo booth in Haiphong Road in Tsim Sha Tsui (25 Aug) and Paterson Street in Causeway Bay (26 Aug), the HKTDC X HKDI FASHION-Lution Exhibition at Gateway Arcade in Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui (Aug 27-2 Sep) featuring iconic outfits from Christian Dior and Issey Miyake, the Fashion Avenue Fest in Lee Tung Avenue in Wan Chai (1-2 Sep), and the Hong Kong in Fashion Fiesta at D2 Place in Cheung Sha Wan (1-2 Sep).

Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room.