Recent graduate of the Ma_12 Fashion Technology course at LCF, Kay Kwok is fast becoming a big name in the world of Menswear. Winner of the Hong Kong Design Talent Award (2009), Kwok graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University only to be named by WGSN as on of the ‘Top 15 Asian Fashion Designers’ in the student category. Phew. Following a move to London, Kwok’s graduate collection ‘Fake Eternity’ was nominated for Collection of the Year ’12. There must be something behind the hype…!
‘Fake Eternity’ explores the relationships between the process of mummification, solar and lunar eclipses and stellar constellations. ‘A horizon of heaven’; inspired by Ancient Egyptian Culture, Religion and Cosmology. Despite his historic inspiration, Kwok’s use of modern technologies in combination with sharp, classic menswear tailoring creates a surprisingly ‘futuristic’ aesthetic within the collection.
Kwok’s combination of influences from the Sphinx to sunlight, chemical decomposition in mummies to constellations is expertly expressed through the designer’s clever use of digital print. He combines fresh concepts with innovative print processes in creating beautiful visual effects…ombrés, spray paint graphics and delicate colour grading to a point where it almost appears to be tie-dyed. The importance of the use of new technology on the course at LCF is evident through the entirety of Kwok’s A/W ‘12/13 Collection- I am particularly fond of the 3-d printed hats paired with the suitings!
Our cyberpaths crossed, and Kwok got to telling me about his love of London (and of course Brighton) fashion…
Beth Humes, Brighton Fashion Week: Your graduate collection was inspired by a number of things- including Ancient Egyptian mummification and Cosmology. Is this a life-long fascination or has it been sparked recently?
KK: With the inspiration of Ancient Egyptian Religious and Cosmology-the mysterious story behind Sphinx, the relation between the process of mummy erosion and the system of Ancient Egyptian’s constellation like Ancient culture of Solar, Lunar & Stellar story. The Designer has combined the ideas to create prints by playing with shades, light and flame aiming to pushing digital printing into a new area with the twist of classic menswear tailoring. Printed Neoprene fabric is widely used on the collection because of its fleshy hand-feel.
BH: This is your first printed collection- did you enjoy the process? Would you like to work more in this way in the future?
KK: Digital print has a great visual effect. There is so much restriction with screen-printing…time, colour and ingredient. I tried to push digital print to new boundaries.
BH: Are there any pieces in your collection that you are particularly fond or proud of?
KK: I think the green light overall print suit. It was the effective outfit which transferred greatly from my theme to visual element.
BH: Who is the ‘Kay Kwok’ man? (Or woman!) Is there someone you imagine dressing when you design?
KK: 20-35 who are confident to try something fresh.
BH: How do you feel that in an industry as competitive as fashion, you can stand out and compete?
KK: I think one's original idea with persistence and passion for it could stand out from the crowd.
BH: Why did you decide to pursue your fashion career in England? What made you decide to move to London?
KK: Doing fashion in London makes me happier as people here are so into fashion.
BH: What are your plans for the future?
KK: Hopefully the menswear line in my brand will be stable and it will be time for other lines.
Kay Kwok will be showing at the Brighton Fashion Week Zeitgeist show on 31st May at All Saints Church, Hove. Click here for tickets!
All Images Sourced From: http://www.kaykwok.com