From an early age, Kevin Ho Kwan-lam knew he wanted to pursue a career in fashion. The winner of the Party & Evening-wear Group category at the 38th Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers' Contest (YDC), held earlier this year, Ho has seen his dream truly take shape.
As soon as he graduated from secondary school, Ho flew to London for a short course on the basics of fashion design, visual studies, photography and styling.
While studying there, he decided his true calling was fashion, specifically womenswear. When the course ended, he enrolled on a womenswear design BA programme and graduated with honours.
After honing his skills working in London for nine years, he entered the competition this January because he wanted to know how he stacked up against industry professionals.
Ho recommends taking part in competitions, as it offers a "healthy dose of pressure so that you can challenge yourself creatively and perform at your best".
It also gave him the opportunity to know himself better as a designer.
He also feels that "competitions show you a certain benchmark that you have to reach in order to compete".
His winning collection, "The Crossing", was inspired by an art installation made up of intricate, interwoven lines. The key themes of the collection are "power" and "sophistication", expressed by contrasting the strong silhouettes with delicate ribbons.
Ho is inspired by Dutch designer, Iris Van Herpen, who he says "pushes the boundaries by combining traditional handwork techniques with modern cutting and silhouettes."
He says this is an approach he wants to take with the clothes under his self-titled label, which was launched at Hong Kong's 2015 Fashion Week last month.
The focus of the 27-year old's collection was the crisscrossing, hand-sewing technique that he used to weave different colour-contrasting ribbons "together to create geometric patterns that wound around the body for a sculptural, yet feminine look".
Choosing the right kind of ribbon was extremely important for Ho. He made sure he picked one with a wide range of colours that was also "fluid and silky to give the clothing a nice weight and texture".
For each piece in the collection, he draped every individual ribbon and pinned them against a mannequin, then sewed it all together by hand. Weaving the ribbons by hand was very time-consuming and took a lot of patience but had a tremendous pay-off, Ho says.
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His signature look was a red dress that had broad shoulders and a funnel neck. It took him a week to complete.
As part of his win at the YDC competition, he was awarded a cash prize of HK$20,000 and an all-expenses-paid scholarship for a Young Designer's Course at the Saga International Design Centre in Denmark, starting next month.
Kevin says that he is very excited to learn more about the luxury fashion industry and intend to come back as a stronger designer.
His Spring/Summer 2016 ready-to-wear line features pieces that are more casual than his YDC collection and display new silhouettes and cuts.
This collection is Ho's interpretation of sophistication and modernity. While it draws some inspiration from the ribbon-weaving techniques in his winning collection, it makes the looks more accessible and wearable.
It is a graphic collection that uses different widths of ribbons to create a different feel.
Ho describes the collection as a blend of sophistication and modernity that has a place in every confident and brave woman's wardrobe.