Written by Vivian Luk. When I returned to Hong Kong 2008, I wanted to combine all the wonderful experiences I’ve gathered in my training as a designer and create a playground where brides can enjoy all of that while capturing their every moment building up to the big day in a gown they can treasure forever.
It is combining all the good things you can find in a design house, without the restrictions in mass production and sales reports and all the good things you can find in an intimate art workshop with a handful of caring and passionate experienced seamstresses and tailors to support the designer. Instead of working with a sales representative, I don’t want to just sell you a gown, I want to get to know you and create one inspired by you.
As every designer would have their own style, besides sharing my philosophies with each bride, I also want her to be a part of making design decisions as the gown evolves, because ultimately the gown will speak my sensibility, but each bride is my muse.
What I took away from my corporate experience, is developing new fabrics, designing embroidery layouts from scratch, designing for stars and hosting fashion shows. I can still enjoy all of that directly with the end users, and I can do it without the pressure from short deadlines and putting quantity over quality.
I can sketch countless ideas, but I find that a lot of the designing happens when one is draping with the actual fabric. Therefore I do a lot of the draping myself. I appreciate both complicated engineered pattern-work, as well as spontaneous almost accidental draping which can only happen if it’s a one off piece. Therefore I try to have a bit of both in all my bespoke gowns.
My design training influences the way I operate my atelier, while my design philosophy comes from my art training. Since elementary, I attended a performance arts school, where I grew up with many other young teenagers who had big dreams to become actors, dancers, musicians and fine artists. I remember watching my fellow classmates dance, and the way they gestured the fabric on their bodies as they moved, to even hearing the rythmn of music can be found in the work I do today. Like pieces of artwork, my gowns’ compositions are balanced, yet it’s asymmetrical lines draw movement leading the viewer’s eyes continuously throughout the body, shaping and molding to give her the ideal silhouette.
And lastly, I am inspired by people and I am fascinated by each person’s individuality. We are all often balancing two opposite characteristics and everything is relative to one’s surroundings. That is why you will find the persona behind my gowns are both feminine and soft, yet structured and strong. They are artistic yet wearable. They are sophisticated and intellectual, yet sweet and youthful. A strong design chooses what it believes in and makes it bold. Drawing the attention to the focal point, in return making the gown easy to the eye. Something that is bold does not have to be loud. My gowns are pieces of organic, full of layers and textures and 3 dimensional forms.
It is not just a gown, we are creating art; we are telling a story.