From New York to Tokyo, Loom Loop hit the runway and caught the eye of fashionistas around the world. Quickly becoming the talk of the town, this leading Hong Kong brand is launching its latest collection, an unexpected collaboration with Chinese restaurant Above & Beyond.
During the exclusive launch event, we caught up with Polly Ho, the lady behind the label. Ho not only designs gorgeous womenswear with unique characteristics and artistic vibes, but she’s also dedicated to preserving local culture. Find out more about her inspirations and views right here.
What’s the story behind the brand name, Loom Loop?
Loom is a traditional Chinese device for making fabrics, and Loop is a type of knot. The brand name brings out the message that basic knitting is the cornerstone of clothes designing. As for the Chinese name”碌祿”, it carries double messages. Firstly, ”碌” denotes common materials and ”祿” means aristocratic products. It conveys our concept of achieving perfection with the most ordinary materials. While ”碌” also bears the meaning of “busy” in Chinese, the other message would be a well wish to everyone, hoping that all hard work will end up being worthwhile and rewarding “祿”.
Do you design all of your prints? What influences and inspires that process?
Yes we design our prints. We are very much drawn to Chinese culture, from our motifs to the fabrics we use. The tension and play between Chinese traditional styles and Western tailoring is a constant reference on my inspiration board. The latest collection was influenced by the folktale “Cowherd and Weaver Girl”, featuring prints of cows and clouds, while there are previous collections dedicated to old Chinese legends “White Snake” and “Butterfly Lovers”. It is always so much fun to think of possibilities I can create with Eastern and Western diversities.
How do you choose your fabrics?
Loom Loop started out with a vintage Guangzhou fabric named “Soft Gold”, which we discovered during a trip to Southern China. With over a millennium of history, it gives more importance to a piece of garment. It is cool and comfortable to wear even in summertime. However, due to the painstakingly long and complicated manufacturing process, this precious heritage could be eventually lost in time. By putting it into everyday garments, we aim to place it under spotlight to the public.
When I look at this collection, I see sophistication, heritage and inventiveness— how would you describe your own work?
I would define us as original and authentic, as our collections are not a mere combination of East meets West. We embrace traditional craftsmanship with modern flair, while trying to make a statement about preservation of traditional heritage, like the Canton fabrics, propitious knots, and other classic Chinese patterns which are fading away in the wave of modernization.
You’ve shown your collections in New York and Tokyo, what was the reaction you got in each city?
New Yorkers look for sophistication. They want everything smart and glamorous, but at the same time more conservative. Tokyo is a very accepting society, a place where all styles can fit in, from Lolita to Muji, Shibuya 109 to kimono. It’s great that customers in both markets showed interests in our clothes.
As a Hong Kong-based designer, what’s the biggest challenge you face?
The Hong Kong fashion industry is facing challenges, as room for development has been very limited. It’s still very difficult to get into the high-end retailers like Lane Crawford or Harvey Nichols. While for China there are quite a number of quality buyers who constantly explore for potential designers through all kind of trade shows. That provides more opportunities and consequently more room for fashion development.
How did your collaboration with Above & Beyond come about?
Above & Beyond is our soul mate. We share very similar philosophies and purposes. Both of us adore the iconic features of Hong Kong – an amazing mixture of local culture, Chinese traditional and Western modernisation, and we endeavour to keep it up before it vanishes. Just like Above & Beyond’s special curated tea set which presents a perfect combination of Chinese delicacies with Western desserts, we create apparel that features exquisite Chinese inspirations and concepts with Western aesthetic, flairs and tailoring.
The Loom Loop collaboration with Above & Beyond is on until July 30, 2017. For reservations call 3400 1318 or email [email protected]