CENTRESTAGE, Asia’s premier fashion event, held in Hong Kong for the third year from 5 to 8 September. The opening gala show, CENTRESTAGE ELITES, will see three of Asia’s most celebrated fashion designer labels – FACETASM from Japan, IDISM from Hong Kong and Ms MIN from the Chinese mainland – showcasing their latest 2019 Spring/Summer (SS19) collections for an international audience of trendsetters.

The CENTRESTAGE ELITES as first show were raised on major fashion spectacular, showcasing the latest Spring/Summer 2019 collections of Japanese avant-garde streetwear label FACETASM by Hiromichi Ochiai, Hong Kong ready-to-wear womenswear label IDISM by design duo Cyrus Wong and Julio Ng, and Chinese luxury womenswear label Ms MIN by Min Liu.

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.

The gala show was an opening highlight of CENTRESTAGE, which is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and continues until 8 Sept at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). More than 1,000 guests – including celebrities Miki Yeung, Elaine Yiu, Ron Ng, Mat Yeung, Phoebe Sin and Jeffrey Lai – watched top models parade the collections during the glamourous CENTRESTAGE ELITES show.

Shirley Chan, Council Member, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC); design duo Cyrus Wong and Julio Ng of Hong Kong womenswear label IDISM; Lawrence Leung, Chairman, HKTDC Garment Advisory Committee; Edward Yau, Acting Financial Secretary, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government; Benjamin Chau, Acting Executive Director, HKTDC; Japanese streetwear label FACETASM’s Hiromichi Ochiai; Chinese luxury womenswear label Ms MIN’s Min Liu; Felix Chung, Legislative Council Member; and Edith Law, Council Member, HKTDC, toast the opening of CENTRESTAGE ELITES

A Tokyo native Born in Japan, Hiromichi Ochiai (落合宏理) grew up and studied in Tokyo. Fascinated by the vibrant energy of the city, the designer took influence from the mix of an emerging pop culture and traditional Japanese culture.

Facetasm After graduating in 1999 from Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, Hiromichi Ochiai worked at the textiles company Guildwork for eight years as an assistant to the brand NGAP. Finally, in 2007 he achieved his childhood dreams with the launch of his brand Facetasm, where he could design the pieces he wanted to wear.

The name Facetasm is inspired by “facets,” strives to show the many different aspects of an idea. That’s the concept of their co-ed collections – evolving to reflect new ideas with each. Ochiai said he doesn’t focus on men’s or women’s, he just creates a mixture, a “genderless aesthetic.” He tries to give a new definition to traditional pieces; for instance, a biker jacket lined with colorful lace and opened in the back with zippers.

Facetasm presents itself as a hybrid brand, at once conceptual and ultra-wearable, streetwear but chic, equally influenced by Japanese culture and Parisian style: fashion that does not play by the rules and that surprises at every turn.

He created ground-breaking looks with a bold, chromatic palette, unusual cuts and a casting of atypical models. The multi-faceted Facetasm Expect hybridity at every turn, from chic outdoor-wear, to sportswear with a twist, to streetwear tailoring, clashing statement prints, along with a combination of denim and floral prints on streetwear-inspired sweatshirts, and jackets with geometric lines, which were the stand-out pieces.

He pays homage to the metropolis, which he describes as “a big city with a heart”, in each of his collections, with which he aims to destabilize in order to find new balance. Whilst he refuses to give his collections a theme, and claims that often the common thread that ties them together only comes to him as he is making it, every one of Hirochimi’s collections takes something from the city that he loves. He dedicated his first collection shown in Paris to the Japanese city, portraying its duality, from the hills and rivers to the packed-in buildings, behind which the sunsets peek through, so beautifully expressed in the color palette of the pieces.

Cyrus Wong and Julio Ng launched their women’s wear label Idism in 2016. The Hong Kong natives both studied in England — Wong at Central Saint Martins and Ng at the London College of Fashion, and both trained at London design houses before starting their label.

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When trained in London, while London is known to be very arty, tech modern galleries everywhere. It’s in the culture that art and music is a huge influence for people specifically in London, It’s a calmer pace of life, the environment helps the designers create nice art.

The name IDISM is based on the psychological term. “‘Id’ stands for a basic human need and desire, so it’s like a movement for us to create garments that people need instead of those for social media. They want their clothing to interact with people. You can just kind of pull the drawstring, or button the jacket in different ways, and this is a way to communicate with people through our garments.

Much of their design process is based on art. A print with a lot of orange and yellow came from a light installation they made; the color of the light changed when it hit the sculpture, and they captured that to create the print.

It takes confidence to be truly reductive. By bringing only the essential elements into focus, Ms MIN creates spirited collections that blend ageless elegance with modern functionality.

With a quite astute fashion following, Min Liu took an unusual path by launching her women’s wear line Ms Min solely online, on Chinese mega site Taobao, in 2010. After graduating from the London College of Fashion, Liu interned at Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam, then returned to China, where she took a job at Ports 1961. Meanwhile, she photographed herself in vintage masks that she had collected, opened a shop on Taobao, and it instantly went viral.

A milestone occurred in 2013, when she was one of three Chinese designers selected by Sarah Rutson for Lane Crawford’s new Shanghai store, its first in China. Rutson mentored her, encouraging Liu to expand with dresses, coats and pants to test the waters as a full collection.

With strong emphasis placed on the importance of fabrics and intelligent fit, Ms MIN develops core classics that finds the balance point between the form and the formless. Subtle traces of delicate Chinese aesthetics join with robust production techniques to suit the pace of contemporary lifestyles.

Each piece is an expertly cut manifestation of contrast. The synthesis of sportwear and sophistication, a marriage between masculine and feminine, the spirit of yin and yang. The energy created by the unification of these opposing forces is what gives every piece of Ms MIN a certain, inimitable edge.

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 promises to be 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.

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.

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.

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