DIS­COV­ERY

Ones to watch

Prestige Hong Kong - - CONTENTS -

To call Anaïs Mak the bright young light of Hong Kong fash­ion would not be an over­state­ment. She’s been a beacon of hope for those of us fash­ion ed­i­tors and jour­nal­ists who’ve seen her la­bel Anaïs Jour­den (a re­cent re­brand­ing, pre­vi­ously named Jour­den) go from strength to strength over the last few years, con­sis­tently putting Hong Kong on the fash­ion map. Since start­ing the la­bel six years ago, the Stu­dio Berçot grad­u­ate has made a sig­na­ture of clever pro­por­tions, sub­ver­sive fem­i­nin­ity and beau­ti­ful fab­rics with clothes “in­tended for women of all dif­fer­ent ages, life­styles and lo­ca­tions”. Some of the most ex­cit­ing mo­ments of her jour­ney in­clude be­ing nom­i­nated a semi-fi­nal­ist for the LVMH Prize in 2015, and tak­ing her pre­sen­ta­tions to Paris Fash­ion Week, open­ing up a whole new au­di­ence. So why did the de­signer choose fash­ion? As a child she was in­tro­verted — “not good with words”, as she puts it — but had a head full of ideas and would dress up in ran­dom vin­tage items or pieces that she’d made. “I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in clothes,” Mak ex­plains. “I came from a fam­ily where my mum was also in­ter­ested in dress­ing up and al­ways read­ing Vogue, so I was ex­posed to it at a young age. “That be­ing said, I had doubts. I thought it was maybe just a pas­sion that ev­ery girl had, and I didn’t re­alise I could take up the cre­ation part of the in­dus­try. At one point, I re­alised that clothes are what gave me the most emo­tions, and it’s the way I feel the most com­fort­able ex­press­ing my­self.” At its core, Anaïs Jour­den is about fem­i­nine as­pi­ra­tions of “who and what they want to be and how they’re at­tracted to things”. Dis­ci­plined sil­hou­ettes with lush tex­tures, a take on the no­tion of dress­ing up “that’s more about twist­ing the codes of the clas­sic fem­i­nine look than break­ing them”. There’s em­broi­dery, smock­ing, ruf­fles, gath­er­ings and pleat­ing — a lot of tra­di­tion­ally fem­i­nine el­e­ments, but put into a new con­text. She starts new col­lec­tions based on feed­back about past ones that women want more of. The au­tumn/win­ter 2018 col­lec­tion is dark and ro­man­tic, tak­ing her style into “more sub­ver­sive ter­ri­to­ries” by twist­ing a clas­sic ladies-who-lunch aes­thetic with fetishis­tic touches. This year, Anaïs Jour­den was listed on the of­fi­cial Paris Fash­ion Week show cal­en­dar for the first time — an hon­our that very few in Asia can claim. “A dream-come-true mo­ment,” Mak re­calls. “It means a lot to me as a val­i­da­tion and recog­ni­tion for [all my] ef­forts, which opens up a wider dis­course. Also last year we were emo­tional, say­ing good­bye to the le­gendary Co­lette Paris store with a pop-up in­stal­la­tion ... the jour­ney has al­ways been full of both nerve-rack­ing and heart-throb­bing mo­ments!”

ABOVE: MODEL AND AC­TRESS EMILY RATAJKOWSK­I IN ANAÏS JOUR­DEN. RIGHT: ANAÏS MAK

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