Wednesday, September 23, 2009

China oh China

This past weekend, Kanchan Couture was invited to participate in an International Design Fair in Shenzhen, China. Thinking this would be the perfect way to test the collection in the mainland market I jumped on the opportunity, little did I know the weekend would throw me on a roller coaster ride. Don’t think there are quite enough words in the English language to describe the emotions; experiences and learning that came my way. Traveling to China on a regular basis I though this would be no different..….little did I know.

It all started with being stuck at the custom declarations for 8 hours with none of the officers having a clue as to what the rules are and what should be done, in terms of bringing garments into China. Arriving at the fair set up much later than expected and hearing that it was closed and we had to set up later on, which was a lie. As at the end we did set up and were allowed to be there till 10pm.

The night was then spent in fear as there was no real night storage and one was just suppose to leave all their belongings at the booths.

Spent the weekend arguing with the bi-polar fair organizers about customs and what “should” be done, showing the collections to potential buyers who gave great feedback, judging what the most popular pieces that were picked up by the china market and how that was different to the Hong Kong market, looking around to see what other innovative design concepts were / are blooming and breathing in all that the china market has to offer. Off course not to forget eating congee and noodles for breakfast, having an interesting pedicure and most importantly practicing the few words I know in Mandarin.

My learning’s:

_Never believe anything the government says and get more than all the paper work needed for customs

_China is a great market with people being uber open to new ideas and concepts

Some images from a mall in sz....My favorite Armani - Anmani?

All in all I got to spend my weekend doing what is high value to me – sharing my prints, fabrics and collections with new people, eating amazing food at amazing prices and spending quality time with my boy…….ah what more does one need from life!!

Life is beautiful….

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I want a surfboard….

Having dear friends who own an art gallery in town always keeps me up to date with the art scene, we often spend long dinners discussing why there is not more art and sub culture in Hong Kong?

Well there are definitely a few galleries in town trying to do something new and fresh, one of them happens to be – ufoart gallery. Owners Jane and Holger traveled over from Germany to show Hong Kong the meaning Lowbrow – street art.

This particular exhibition caught my eye as the artist Phil is multi-talented, not only does he create works of art but he’s also part of the fashion world designing for many great labels.

Phil Hayes has been making and exhibiting art for more than 20 years now. He has exhibited in well over 150 group shows and this exhibition in Hong Kong will be his 10th solo exhibition. His work is held in public and private collections all over the world from Japan to USA, even in Lithuania.

Australian born and bred, Phil worked as a teacher and then lecturer in fine art before moving into the surf industry where he became an artist, then head designer for Surf Company Rip Curl. After 5 years as the head designer for Rip Curl he moved to the company Quiksilver. At Quiksilver he was head designer for many years and has recently made the move to live in Hong Kong and work in the Quiksilver global sourcing where he is the Product and Sourcing Director.

The move to Hong Kong is clearly seen in the new body of work. Indeed the works are all about the move from Australia to Hong Kong and the cultural and iconic differences between the two countries. “This is why I have titled the show Australese - a mix of Australia, Hongkongese and Chinese” Phil says.

Intricate Chinese designs are seen placed with a classic old Australian car or some Australian wild life - the juxtaposition of these images creates a tension of sorts but also the end result is quite beautiful.

My favorite is the surfboard on auction right now.....…..12,800 HKD

Umm where could it sit at my house??