b.yu Designs

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Hong Kong Fashion Week Press Conference

Only 6 days to go till Hong Kong Fashion Week and the excitement and anticipation is building up with the launch of b.yu Design's debut Autumn/Winter 2014-5 collection. Today I was invited to attend the pre-show press conference at K-11 Art Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, where one of my pieces was shown on the runway alongside some of Hong Kong's top designers which I am very proud of.

 Mr. Benjamin Chau and Mr. Henry Lau

The event began with an interview with Mr Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the HK Trade Development Council and renowned Hong Kong designer Mr. Henry Lau, sharing ideas about the advantages and challenges of working in the fashion industry in this city, followed by a demonstration of the latest make-up looks from MAC cosmetics. Afterwards the runway presentation began, showcasing works by the designers presenting at Hong Kong Fashion Week/World Boutique starting next week from January 13-16, including Aquascutum, 5cm and Moiselle.

My showpiece design, a crimson chiffon evening gown with a delicate feather-print silk train was on full display and generated a lot of media buzz, and later on in the photo call I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Chau and prominent womenswear designer Mr. Dorian Ho. The show concluded with the models posing in front of a limited edition red MINI Cooper. A great number of press and general public turned up to the event which is very encouraging as I believe Hong Kong has the potential to become a major fashion capital. This kind of awareness and support given to our industry is deeply appreciated (and needed).

Special thanks to my friends and family who came to support me today!

 My biggest supporter - my mum! :)

deTour Hong Kong 2013

Hello there! Yes it's been awhile since my last update; I have been working extremely hard over the past few months preparing my debut collection at Hong Kong Fashion Week, and with 4 weeks to go before the big launch I have been busy putting the final touches and planning for upcoming photoshoots and press events. More details will follow over the coming weeks so watch this space for updates and how you can see the collection live at Fashion Week.

I did find time however to visit the deTour Hong Kong art event over the past week which was a nice break from the chaos. Now in it's 9th year, deTour is an annual program featuring emerging local and international creative talents in the art and design world. This year instead of being in one central site (visitors may recall last year's exhibition in the former Wan Chai police station), deTour is spread across various locations throughout Hong Kong island, including a moving tram exhibition.

I went to 4 of the different sites this week, firstly at Oi!, an art exhibition in North Point featuring local artists in a beautifully converted historical building, and then to The Hennessy in Wan Chai where an outdoor pop-up shop has opened to showcase pieces from 50 different artists and designers including accessories, clothing and stationery. The Central Oasis Gallery is displaying recent works by designers from Hong Kong, Japan and Germany, and finally the newly converted PMQ building in Soho is hosting arts and crafts workshops held by local artisans.

deTour concludes this coming Sunday 8th December, so check it out before it ends, and you can even hop on the deTour tram, a specially designed moving exhibition space, classroom and restaurant at various times throughout the day. For more information on the exhibits and the tram timetable visit www.detour.hk.

Made in Singapore... Just for you

I recently spent a weekend in Singapore and was pleasantly surprised at the number of bespoke services and products that are available in the city. These days, items such as made-to-measure furniture or men's suiting has become rather commonplace, but in Singapore there are now stores that cater to rather unusual products including bespoke ice-cream, earbuds, perfume and even sausages!

Creamier cafe is one example of these outlets, where the head chef can create and develop a brand-new ice-cream flavour from scratch, such as smoked peppercorn chocolate or white peach chardonnay. Jaben audio store has a service where special quick-drying silicone is injected into your ear canal to create the perfect-fit noise cancelling earbuds that can cost up to US$2,800. And Sifr Aromatics sells small batches of exotic scents and allows customers to mix and blend their own one-of-a-kind fragrance in his specialty workshop.

Finally Huber's Butchery provides shoppers premium sausages with their preferred choice of seasoning, with an added option of selecting meats that were fed through special diets.

All of these products sound wonderful don't they? But they also come at a price. Because so much effort and trial-and-error usually goes into making these products, more often you will find them to be at least 3-5 times more expensive than your 'off-the rack' options. But for the discerning customer who appreciates exclusivity and individuality, the hefty price-tag is something they are willing to overlook.

Shenzhen International Fashion Brand Fair 2013

Hot off the heels of Hong Kong Fashion Week comes the 13th China International Fashion Brand Fair held just across Hong Kong's border in Shenzhen this week. This was my first time at the fair and I was utterly amazed by the sheer magnitude of the displays and the number of people attending. With queues up to 500 metres long just to get in, I was lucky enough to secure a VIP pass and spent the day marvelling at the size and scale of over 3,000 exhibitors' displays, an indication of the growth and potential of the Chinese domestic fashion market.

With a population of 11 million in Shenzhen alone, plus another 105 million people living in the surrounding Guangdong province, Shenzhen's fashion industry is a force to be reckoned with. In 2012, Shenzhen's garment industry crossed the RMB 100 billion (US$16.3 billion) mark (source: Global Sources), so it's no wonder brands are concentrating more and more in the Chinese domestic market.

However, with so much potential in the market, more effort is still required in the effective marketing and branding of these up-and-coming fashion labels. One particular example I came across was a brand called "MyScissors", whose slogan was "MyScissors is always with you". It definitely left many foreign visitors (and myself included) scratching their heads thinking what a funny way to spend millions on an advertising campaign that doesn't really make sense.

The International Brand Fair will be held for the rest of this week and concludes on 13 July 2013.

HK Polytechnic University MA Graduation Fashion Show

Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2013 is in full swing this week and I was delighted to be invited to attend the Polytechnic University's MA Graduation fashion show. Twelve graduates showcased their avant-garde creations using innovative materials combined with unique techniques in both construction and execution.

Highlights include Addy Xu's intricately pleated detailing in his pieces, plus Vanessa Liu's sharp tailoring in her all white-and-silver collection.

Meanwhile I am ever more inspired to continue working hard on my upcoming collection to present at next season's Fashion Week, so stay tuned and watch this space!! 


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