PolyU: PolyU MA Graduation Fashion Show 2022 “THEN, NOW, META”

The School of Fashion & Textiles (formerly the Institute of Textiles and Clothing) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) held its dynamic MA Graduation Fashion Show 2022 last Thursday (28 July 2022) at The Mills. More than 200 guests were in attendance, including representatives from the fashion industry and media.

The theme of this year’s show, “Then, Now, Meta”, is a metaphor for the collective, yet diverse journey that students have embarked on through their work. Of the 17 graduating students from the Master of Arts (MA) in Fashion and Textile Design who showcased an exploration of the past, studying and mastering the learnings of yesterday through their fashion collections. Some had reacted to our current times and questioned the reality of today. Whilst others encountered the future and contemplated the boundless opportunities of tomorrow.

In addition to ingenuity in design, students put great effort into creating their own materials. For example, students produced unique fabric finishes using natural plant dying techniques, and established new approaches to embroidery and embellishment using epoxy resins. Furthermore, digital technologies such as three-dimensional design software CLO3D and Blender were widely adopted, in order to minimize the material consumed in the production process and improve the sustainability of the designs.

Opening the Show was student Lin Ruo-ming, Lyn, alumni of the Zhujiang College of South China Agricultural University. Her collection was inspired by her observations of Hong Kong people drying their garments in public areas. She felt that this metaphorically reflected the “Pajama Culture” of Shanghai where pajamas, which are ordinarily used to sleep in, are worn as everyday dress. Both the role of public spaces and pajamas have been reconfigured. Her menswear collection included beautifully patterned silk shirts which directly referenced pajamas. In addition, there were some strong denim pieces, particularly a pair of shorts that looked like a fusion of two garments. Lyn wanted to create a sense of “harmonized regional confusion” with each outfit.

Another highlight of the evening was a sustainable collection created by Wang Zi-yi, Sylvia alumni of Zhejiang Sci-tech University. Her collection was fully patterned using the digital software, CLO3D to reduce the amount of material used in the development of her collection. Sylvia has a strong background in textiles and developed all her own sustainable fabrics, including in particular organic silks that had been naturally dyed using plants and vegetables. Conceptually, her collection explores the relationship between architecture and nature. Each garment appeared as a robust structure, the textile surface of which looked like it had been naturally eroded by the environment.

Closing the show was alumni of from Dalian Art College, Bao Yi-fan, Evan. Evan’s collection was inspired by his surroundings and how he connects with people and objects emotionally. He used a journal to document his state of mind and surroundings, and then visualize them through his design. Evan patterned his collection using CLO3D, and digitally simulated the throwing of clothes onto the floor and over a chair. His collection had a young, rebellious feeling, with its own chaotic harmony. Developing his own textiles, a particularly interesting feature of the collection was how he bleached and dyed denim and jersey pieces using a wig covered in hair bleach and blue hair dye.

Mr Ryan Scott HOULTON, the programme leader, hopes that talented and ambitious young designers can fully demonstrate their creative potential through this practical one-year course. He remarked, “This programme aims to nurture future industry mavericks, who are innovative and free-thinking. We also equip them with comprehensive skillsets. I look forward to seeing our graduates shine in the field, and become a new driving force and potential disrupters in the global fashion industry.”