Artisanship in Fashion Beyond Time

Artisanship in Fashion Beyond Time

Following its smash debut in 2021, K11's annual celebration of legendary craft is making a triumphant return to Victoria Dockside on 8 December 2022. Curated under the theme The Love of Couture: Artisanship in Fashion Beyond Time, the exhibition will open with K11 NIGHT, presenting a magnificent collection of historical fashion gems from London's Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A), while also spotlighting six of East Asia's most promising young fashion designers.

Masterminded by internationally renowned and award-winning Hong Kong Production Designer William Chang Suk Ping and experts from the V&A, the exhibition sets out to bridge Western European traditions with eastern innovation, paying homage to the extraordinary creativity, rich history, refined craftsmanship and boundless possibilities of couture.

Titled The Love of Couture: Artisanship in Fashion Beyond Time, the ambitious sophomore exhibition is conceptualised with the mission to explore the evolution of fashion across time and space, and to celebrate artisanship and the next generation of designers. To accomplish this, K11 has joined hands with the V&A to assemble a team of revered industry veterans and talented rising stars for an unprecedented cultural exchange between east and west. "Fashion throughout history is reflective of how traditions, craftsmanship, creativity and societies continue to evolve", said Adrian Cheng, Chair of K11 NIGHT. "I am thrilled to present this exhibition in collaboration with the V&A and work with our brilliant designers who have all in their own individual way, reinvented and modernized history with their unique perspective and talent. This collaboration truly reflects my mission to create a deeper cultural exchange between east and west by providing a platform for next generation talent."

Serving as the Production Designer of this year's exhibition is William Chang Suk Ping. An Oscar nominee and bona fide art virtuoso, Chang has enjoyed an illustrious career where he applied his visual genius to areas ranging from visual and costume design to film editing and production. He is joined by seasoned fashion and textile experts from the V&A, the world's leading museum of art, design and performance, and six emerging fashion designers from Japan, South Korea, China and Hong Kong, as they embark on a time-bending, boundary-blurring couture journey of reminiscence, reimagination and fearless innovation.

This year's exhibition will kick off with the invitation-only K11 NIGHT 2022 opening gala at Victoria Dockside on the evening of 3 December 2022. The exclusive event is a who's who of A-list entertainers, fashion icons, artists, cultural pioneers and socialites. A gold carpet will roll out along the Avenue of Stars, with the stunning view of the Hong Kong skyline and Victoria Harbour providing a picture-perfect backdrop for celebrity guests to showcase their passion for high fashion and personal interpretation of this year's theme, Couture with Love.

The event is organised in partnership with official automotive partner BMW, beverage sponsor Moët Hennessy Diageo and event and exhibition title sponsor UBS. Powered by glitz, glamour and electrifying couture creations, K11 NIGHT 2022 is poised to solidify its stellar reputation as the most coveted fashion-cultural event on Hong Kong's social calendar.

Chang's visual genius ranges from set and costume design to styling and film editing. Drawing inspiration from the Nobel Prize-winning author Derek Walcott's poem, Love After Love, Chang then spins the exhibition concept with his mastery and paints a picture depicting how designers' and makers' passion for couture, artisanship and creativity can be carried on century after century.

"This exhibition is driven by imagination, creativity, and passion. Seeing how these designers have reimagined centuries-old craft and techniques has been truly inspiring, and provided me with a wonderful canvas from which to create and design," said Chang.

From staging, lighting, venue background music, showcase curation, exhibition visuals and videos to storytelling, Chang has infused this project with his poetic and romantic style. Visitors will embark on a journey of imagination through the stylistic choice of Chang, as if they are living in one of his movies, while feasting their eyes on the extravagance of each exhibit. All furnishings were specially produced for this exhibition, and have been designed by Chang from scratch. One highlight of his work is the centrepiece of the exhibition space, featuring a giant human head revealing a MRI scan of a brain when one is in love, or even in the state of addiction — a metaphorical expression of one's the never-ending passion towards design and creativity.

Exclusive View of Historical Artefacts from the V&A

A thoughtfully curated collection of historical British and French womenswear from the V&A will be displayed as part of the exhibition. The twelve pieces, shown in Hong Kong for the first time, chronicle the fascinating evolution of British and French womenswear fashions from the 1830s to around 1960, and serve as the muse for the six up-and-coming East Asian fashion designers. The emerging designers' task is to draw inspiration from these exhibits, dissect and re-contextualise their structure, fabric, function, and craft original bespoke couture works that stir nostalgia while exuding a contemporary, innovative and distinctively East Asian sensibility. The process is intended to trace how fashion changes over time as it is a constant amalgamation of various cultures and influences, and to imagine what the future of fashion entails.

"The Love of Couture: Artisanship in Fashion Beyond Time is fully aligned with the V&A's core mission, to champion design and creativity in all its forms for everyone. We are delighted with this opportunity for the V&A to continue its international engagement strategy in the region and support craftsmanship and creativity. Our collection is renowned for providing inspiration for designers and I am pleased that the collaboration with K11 continues this practice through the creation of new culturally meaningful projects", said Tim Reeve, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer at the V&A.

Emerging Designers Take the Lead

Six promising young fashion visionaries from Japan, China, South Korea and Hong Kong have been commissioned by K11 to create new bespoke designs specifically for the exhibition. Each equipped with a unique outlook and sense of style, these future masters of sartorial art bring a spectacular array of daring looks inspired by the V&A's collection, giving the audience a great opportunity to rethink the connection between the past, present and future of fashion. These new works will be showcased alongside some of the designers' existing creations, offering a broader perspective of their creative visions and definitions of couture.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A) is the world's leading museum of art, design and performance with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity, spanning 5,000 years of human creativity. It was established in 1852 to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, its purpose is to champion creative industry, inspire the next generation, and spark everyone's imagination.