Firstly, I have abandoned this for a while. But it was Adam Philips, a lad who graphic designs for McDonald’s who asked: “You created Kiwibiwi.com? My mate from the UK showed it to me and no wonder why I thought you looked familiar the first time I met you. It was you and the woman who wore a cherry on her head I saw!”
“Oh my god I can’t believe people actually read my blog, that’s why I have half abandoned it.”
“Well, I’m guessing they do. Don’t abandon it. You can say whatever the fuck you want to say there.”
I remember why I got into fashion in the first place. It was its creativity and its constant evolution. Nothing is more fun being in London during fashion week: there are these junkies who’d put a negligee and a pair of military boots together and you’d think it is an outfit pulled out of a hat. Somehow, weirdly, it does look aesthetically pleasing.
Fashion in London is a two-way affair. While the catwalks massively influence what will be seen on the high streets, the fashion show goers in their own way affect what will be seen on the catwalk for the next season too. So it’s a good cycle: fashion lovers become fashion perpetrators. And those who feast on what’s available on the street without a question, well, they are perceived as followers. They are scavengers of the London style scene.
It’s completely different here. People get excited about something because they are made by Hermes (uck), Louis Vuitton (double uck) and Ed Hardy (uck to the power n).
A printed silk scarf from Hermes (note: for those who don’t know, the art of printing was invented in China THOUSANDS of years ago. Silk existed as a writing instrument WAY before paper surfaced), a Louis Vuitton monogram patent leather handbag (let me see, the last time I saw a patent leather handbag was 2 seconds ago, when I looked in my wardrobe and there were five)… So? These “news”, aren’t exactly “news” by any standard.
There’s no individual style here per se. Money, rather than the people at the receiving end of fashion, seems to be the perpetrator of “trends”. The media goes at length to dig their heads in the sand (even fill their heads with it) in order to convince themselves a $200 plastic watch can’t be cool because it’s made of petroleum derivative, not of endangered animal or rare metal that money approves of.
Take the example of Juicy Couture. What’s the difference between a pair of cotton stretchy pants and a pair of cotton stretchy pants? They are the same until the first pair was sold at Times Square at an elevated price of one wozillian dollars, while the second was at an outlet somewhere in Wanchai. So does the Juicy Couture store opening at Time Square deserves a mention? You tell me. I am only a lowly inexperienced journalist who has no idea what style means in Hong Kong. (Refer to paragraph six)
Now I might appear I despise money. I don’t despise it, nor do I worship it that my eyes are blinded by the aura of God. There are ways to earn money without ripping apart your integrity. There are ways to spend money without perpetuating a vicious circle (rich conglomerates get free press, newspaper runs out of space to cover a collection by a fresh grad, talented designer becomes visual merchandiser).
I’ll leave you on the note of what Elli Hakami (director of programme development at Discovery Channel USA, also a former BBC employee) has to say about attitudes towards creativity in the UK and in the USA (capitalism model which Hong Kong thrives on)
“In the UK we talk about the most innovative programme we have come up with in the past year. In the US, we talk about what your end of year results were.”