Hong Kong

Dior Signals Confidence in Hong Kong With New Flagship on Canton Road

Dior Signals Confidence in Hong Kong With New Flagship on Canton Road

PARIS — Shrugging off the impact of political turmoil and the coronavirus pandemic on Hong Kong tourism, Dior has opened a new boutique on Canton Road in the city’s bustling Tsim Sha Tsui district.The 9,500-square-foot flagship, featuring a facade illuminated with a deconstructed version of the French fashion house’s signature “cannage” motif, is spread over two floors carrying women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, accessories, fine jewelry, watches, home wares and perfumes.
The interior takes its cue from the brand’s headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris, with an interior in shades of powdery white, gray and gold featuring accents such as Versailles parquet floors and its trademark Toile de Jouy fabric.

At the main entrance, visitors are welcomed by a giant crystal chandelier, and the store features original works by artists including China’s Lu Song, Wang Yuyang and Hong Hao. A spiral staircase at the rear of the store leads to dedicated areas for fine jewelry and home wares.

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The fine jewelry department in Dior’s flagship on Canton Road in Hong Kong.

Marcel Lam/Courtesy of Dior

To mark the opening, Dior is offering exclusive products including box sets containing four embroidered miniature Lady Dior bags; Rose des Vents jewelry creations adorned with colorful gemstones, and selected items from the fall women’s collection designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, featuring embroidered motifs.
The store, which opened Monday, is also offering early access to the fall men’s collection by Kim Jones, as part of its pre-launch in the Asia-Pacific region.
The absence of tourism continues to weigh on Hong Kong’s retail market, according to a recent report by global real estate consultancy Knight Frank. Burberry confirmed last month it had closed its flagship on Canton Road, one of the world’s most expensive shopping streets.
“In the near term, the outlook for Hong Kong’s retail market remains highly difficult, so retail rents are expected to face further pressure. Uncertainty in the economy, interest rate hikes and delays in the border reopening could weigh on consumption sentiment,” Knight Frank said in a report last week.
On the upside, the local government is set to hand out a second round of consumption vouchers, worth 5,000 Hong Kong dollars, or $637 at current exchange, in August, which should underpin retail sales and restaurant receipts in the short term.

The VIP men’s department in Dior’s new flagship on Canton Road in Hong Kong.

Marcel Lam/Courtesy of Dior

Bubbling Up With Balloon Fashion Designer Fredrik Tjærandsen

Bubbling Up With Balloon Fashion Designer Fredrik Tjærandsen

LONDON — From social bubbles to fashion bubbles, Norwegian fashion designer and artist Fredrik Tjærandsen, who is known for his balloon-like bubble dresses for his Central Saint Martins BA graduate collection in 2019, made his Asian debut Tuesday with the “ArtisTree Selects: Light In/Out Film and Exhibition” in Hong Kong’s Taikoo Place, as a part of  the Swire Properties Arts Month 2021 program.
Featuring a new 4-meter high bubble-like installation made with sustainably and responsibly sourced natural rubber latex from Sri Lanka — the same material Tjærandsen used for his signature bubble dresses — and a dance film, the exhibition also showcased a collection of images documenting the bubble dresses in different forms and colors by British photographer Carlos Jimenez, which was created for the Fashion in Motion live fashion event series at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2020.

“The sculpture is static, but I wanted to play with lines to kind of create some sort of illusion of entering into something that is moving, and that is constructed in steel, which is very new for me,” Tjærandsen told WWD over a Zoom call.
The structure is draped in latex, a material he has been fascinated with for its ability to “capture life and reflect life,” and make the wearer “look like liquid.” The idea behind using latex here as a core material was to make the viewer feel as if they are confronting life through their own individual filter.

“I just love working with latex, it is such an amazing material that can be manipulated in so many ways. What I really like about the material is how it drapes beautifully on the skin. It really changes how you’re being touched,” he added.

Light In Out film and exhibition by Fredrik Tjærandsen at ArtisTree Hong Kong. 
C.K. Man/Courtesy

Calling the bubble “a beautiful metaphor, in which every part of us, our homes, our selves, were encased,” Pauline Foessel, curator of the exhibition, said she wanted to bring the public something striking and something they could feel and experience, especially after waves of lockdowns in the city.
Foessel added a creative from Hong Kong was sent to London and was trained under Tjærandsen to learn how to inflate and maneuver the fragile garments. Upon his return and following quarantine, the creative supported the dance artists and production teams in Hong Kong in recreating the bubble dresses.
“We thought it would be powerful to bring his work and present it in a city like Hong Kong — renowned for its architecture, people and cultural space. Fredrik’s performative work retains strong poetic and fluid dynamics and we wanted to showcase this to the general public and to ultimately take away a feeling of liberation and openness,” she said.
Priscilla Li, general manager of Taikoo Place, said Tjærandsen’s exhibition alongside other upcoming events “demonstrate  people’s resilience during challenging times” and “add a new dimension to people’s working lives” in Hong Kong.
Having worked at places like JW Anderson, Craig Green, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton, Tjærandsen said he is more interested in being a conceptual designer, and explore the relationship between mind and dress and “reflecting how the body is conditioned by the dress physically and psychologically,” as he simply wants to “keep on working on really creative projects where I have freedom.”

A look from Fredrik Tjærandsen’s CSM BA graduate collection. 

“I really wanted fashion to start a contact without making things, without having the physical product,” he said.
In the past few years he has received many requests from celebrities to collaborate, but he chose to stay away from all that. Tjærandsen explained that he wants his work to be taken seriously in the art world, and dressing pop stars “doesn’t really feel right” for him.
He also wasn’t flattered when his works became memes during the pandemic when people were talking about social bubbles, because his voluminous design naturally keeps people away from each other.
“I’m really happy with how people resonated with it [his graduate collection] and everyone experiencing or understanding the outfits even though people wouldn’t be wearing it.…But when things become a meme, I don’t really resonate with it. Maybe I am just pretty boring. But I’m quite serious about what I want to say in my works. So, when it gets taken out of context like that, I mean, that’s OK. That’s the internet, but I also don’t know.”
Balloons Up, Central Saint Martins Dashes Out Bold Ideas at BA Fashion Show

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