Fashionable beginnings

Fashionable beginnings

For Janko Lam, fashion is about self-expression as much as it is about the clothes

To young fashion designer Janko Lam Chun-kuk, fashion "is a style and attitude towards life". "I used to make clothes for dolls using fabric pieces at home when I was a child, and I eventually developed an interest in art growing up. Then as time went by, I decided to pursue a career in art and chose fashion design," Lam says.

Next month, Lam, 26, is joining other designers in showcasing their clothes at the Fashion Visionaries exhibition organised by the Hong Kong Fashion Designers Association (HKFDA) as part of the World Expo in Xintiandi in Shanghai.

"This is the first time I will be going to such a large-scale exhibition. I feel very excited and honoured to be able to represent Hong Kong," she says.

The designer is showcasing two of her pieces, which are built around the theme of "enlightenment" and illustrate the thinking process of a designer.

They portray how a designer first finds a concept, then the meditating and thinking they go through until they see the finished product - the enlightenment.

Lam worked at TVB as a costume designer for two years, and last year, started the brand Mutt Museum with her partner Ar Koo. The brand's first collection was launched in July last year during Hong Kong Fashion Week.

Mutt Museum's mission is about transforming the introspections of our relationships with people, society and nature into fashion. "As we think, we create a space for self expression, which is a personal museum, a mutt museum."

Now that she has a few years of experience after graduating from Caritas Bianchi College of Careers, Lam says the fashion industry is tough and fiercely competitive. Designing clothes for the brand is also hard, since it is very different from designing clothes in school.

"In school, we learned a lot of theory and concepts, but in reality we have to use intelligent techniques to create a piece of clothing. Those techniques improve as you get more experience."

Lam's advice to students is to be passionate about fashion, be persistent, keep learning and be willing to accept opinion and criticism from experienced designers.

"I still seek advice and opinions from other designers when I finish a collection," she says.

Although Lam is grateful for the exposure in Shanghai, money and fame are not what drive her. "I only want to do what I love to do. I'm not desperate to build a famous brand, or get rich. I'm thankful for what I have now.

"Building a brand is just a medium for me and my partner to express our attitude towards life, and we want to share our thoughts with others."

Jady is a Young Post intern

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