Centrestage: Asia’s fashion spotlight returns with diversity and inclusion

The seventh edition of Centrestage fashion presentation returns on September 9 to 11 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Hall 1A-C

With “Inclusion & Diversity” as the theme and #MeMyselfAndUs as the event tag, one can expect a wide variety of styles to be presented.

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, this year’s show will feature the works of more than 240 brands from 15 countries and regions.

The event will be split into three thematic zones: “Allure” – representing designs with craftsmanship, refinement and elegance; “Iconic” – displaying avant-garde designs; and “Metro” – showcasing contemporary, minimalistic expressions of urban life.

The opening gala show, Centrestage Elites, will present the Spring/Summer 2023 collections of fashion labels, DEMO and Children of the discordance. Both brands will go by themes that best represent “Inclusion & Diversity”.

Co-founders at menswear label, DEMO

Hong Kong menswear label DEMO is co-founded by Derek Chan and Mite Chan. The brand aims to put a new spin on traditional designs to create its subversive signature look of “soft masculinity”.

Japan’s Children of the discordance is founded by Hideaki Shikama. The brand aims to express what it calls an “attitude of discordance”. It draws inspiration from recollections of fashion and music from the 90s onwards. Established in 2011, the label upcycles and updates vintage items to create a diverse array of looks that echo influences from the past decades.

Hideaki Shikama of Children of the discordance

There will be a number of other Hong Kong-based brands showcasing their designs at the event. Streetwear label, Project 4, is particularly excited about the theme of this year’s Centrestage.

Project 4 designer, Calix says that it is great to see a platform that includes a lot of diverse fashion brands, and regardless of style or age, it is all about fashion and passion. “I’m really happy to be involved in advocating for the fashion industry of Hong Kong,” he adds.

For their Centrestage contributions, Project 4 promises some interesting “twists” on designs from its classic styles.

The brand is incorporating the theme of “Inclusion & Diversity” by honing in on “easy mix & match” fashion.

“‘Love Playing’ is our brand spirit,” Calix furthers. “We always love to dive into interesting topics, ideas, and elements from our daily life. They can be included in our new designs in one form or another.” and adds, “The inspiration really can be anything, we just love playing around!”

To Project 4, street fashion is essentially what people rock on the daily in the Fragrant Harbour. They see it being given the spotlight by the emergence of more street fashion brands and celebrities. Even though the brand is new to the landscape, its passion and love for street fashion have driven them to create brilliant and high-quality designs.

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Another Centrestage participant from the 852 is the fashion brand, Vo-yage. The label feels that fashion is by nature, inclusive.

“I think fashion is a good way to share different perspectives,” says Enzo Chan, the designer of Vo-yage, as it represents everyone’s character and personality. “All of us are different but fashion accepts everyone.”

The brand aims to be diverse in its “boys to menswear” designs.

Chan adds that in his collection, he designed boys’ and menswear in many styles. “Even if we have the same body structure, we still can find a way to show ourselves and create our own style.”

“Whether you are a man that dresses like a teenager, or you are young but want to dress up like an adult, just choose the clothes you like. All of us are just boys at heart,” he says.

For Vo-yage’s showcase at Centrestage, he hints that it will feature a particular shade to tie it together. The colour green will be used as the main tone as a representation of “peace and love”.

Centrestage is also exploring the virtual this year. It will offer an array of interactive experiences empowered by the metaverse, AR and VR technologies at the fairground to stir up the fun.

One of the highlights includes giving participants the chance to virtually try on outfits specially designed for this fashion event. There is also Centreverse, a custom-built metaverse that allows visitors to join in various fashion events virtually and interact with participants’ personalised avatars.

Participants can interact in Centreverse

The Centrestage event is again open to the general public this year. Reflecting its inclusive theme, anyone can check out this fashion extravaganza by signing up here for free admission. Do not miss the Centrestage Elites show which will be live-streamed here on September 9 from 7pm to 7:30pm.

Photos courtesy of Centrestage

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