Be­hind the Seams

Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

AN EX­QUIS­ITE RED-AND-BLACK CHEONGSAM HANG­ING IN DENISE HO’S WARDROBE ELIC­ITS MEM­O­RIES OF HER GRAND­MOTHER. “MY IDEA OF HER IS BASED ON THINGS SHE USED TO OWN,” THE FASH­ION STYLIST SAYS, “AND THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITES.” THE DRESS HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN FROM HER SIS­TER, JAIME KU, WHO WORE IT AT HER WED­DING, AND HO WILL DO THE SAME WHEN HER TIME COMES. THE DRESS FELL INTO HO’S LAP AF­TER HER FA­THER IN­SISTED THE SIS­TERS KEEP THE TRA­DI­TIONAL CHI­NESE OUT­FIT. “I’VE WORN IT TO A LOT OF THEME PAR­TIES. ONE NEW YEAR’S EVE I WORE IT TO A YE SHANG­HAI EVENING. WHEN PEO­PLE SEE IT, THEY LOVE IT.” THE HAND­MADE SILK VIN­TAGE DRESS IS MOD­ERN ENOUGH FOR TO­DAY AND YET ALSO TRA­DI­TIONAL. “DRESSES LIKE THIS ARE HARD TO FIND NOWA­DAYS BE­CAUSE IT’S IM­POS­SI­BLE TO BUY SUCH DEL­I­CATE MA­TE­RI­ALS ANY­MORE,” SHE SAYS. “IT FEELS SO LUX­U­RI­OUS, WHICH SHOWS HOW SU­PE­RIOR THE QUAL­ITY OF CLOTH­ING WAS BACK THEN.”

“I LOVE THAT YOU CAN PASS DOWN CLOTH­ING TO FU­TURE GEN­ER­A­TIONS,” SHE SAYS. “IN TERMS OF FASH­ION, PEO­PLE NEED TO BE CARE­FUL WITH WHAT THEY BUY AND SHOULD MAKE SURE THEY CAN KEEP IT FOR­EVER.” HO ISN’T TOO WOR­RIED ABOUT THE FRAYED THREADS AND HOPES TO PASS THE DRESS ON TO HER DAUGH­TER ONE DAY. “AND TO THINK, WOMEN DUR­ING THE 1970S WOULD WEAR DRESSES LIKE THIS EV­ERY DAY, EVEN WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BUY THE GRO­CERIES AND WHEN THEY COOKED.”

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