Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

The wow factor ignites Macau’s world heritage fashion show

Posted by Kimberly on July 2, 2007

Fusing fashion with history...Macau's designers show their heritage to the world

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
July 2, 2007, page 7 (956 pages)

No one was more excited about the turnout at the ‘’Historic Centre of Macau’ World Heritage Products Fashion Show on Saturday, than the show’s designers and organisers.
The number of empty seats could be counted on one hand and that was simply because several members of the audience chose to stand.
Several of the designers spoke with the Macau Daily Times about their first experience at fashion week and their hopes for the future.
“It’s been great to have all these great people come out and help for such a meaningful show,” said Derek Lao, one of the show’s designers and directors.
Asked whether he had envisaged the level of success attained, he said, “No, not at all! In the past few weeks, we’ve been working on the schedule, working on the models, the collections.
“We’re actually weren’t thinking of how to fill up the place.
“It’s turned out to be ‘wow!’ I was very excited when I came out on stage to see everybody smile.”
Lines Lab co-designer Clara Brita was a little more reticent.
“Yes, I think it was full of people even if I was in the back stage trying to manage everything! But the impressions I get from those looking at the show, I think they enjoyed it,” she said.
“I think it’s really good that we are able to join several people from different kinds of fields, from design, fashion, jewellery design, architecture, so I really hope it’s possible to have more events like this where we can put all the people together and present our works,” she said.
Hong Kong jewellery designer, Karen Lee was invited to showcase her designer at the show and was impressed with the event.
“It’s the first time I’ve done [a show] on this scale.
“I think it’s very different from what we have in Hong Kong. But I’ve found that the designers here are very creative and actually I think it’s less commercial too.
“A lot of what I see here has very good content not just a commercial point of view. They do try a lot of new ideas,” she said.
After speaking with some of the designers, she felt that Macau’s slower pace allows designers to be more creative.
“When I talked to them I found out that on and off they would stop their work and just sit there and think of their directions and what they really want to do and what sort of new things they can bring to their customers.
“I think as a designer this is very important and that’s very good,” she said.
She chose Macau because she felt the people here were more relaxed and had more time to enjoy design.
“When you are too busy you just have no time. So busy people just buy the product and they go and wear it but they wouldn’t really try to understand or enjoy it,” she said, adding that she had never seen a show with so many different elements put together in Hong Kong.
Co-director Manuel C.S.’s main concern was the lack of experience among those involved.
“My concern was were we able to accomplish this mission that we promised. So in the end, yeah, we are able to do it. So now we will try and make it better and better,” he said.
“In the end I think people were very happy. We tried to make something different. We wanted to create a different feeling and I think people felt that difference today, so yes, I am very happy,’ he said.
Derek’s concern leant more towards the lack of time I rehearsing for the show, having only had one rehearsal at the venue the night before the show.
“[That] was actually the first time the whole thing was put together, with the musicians, the sound and light and also with the models.
“So they were pretty new to all of this. We had a little bit of technical glitches that weren’t working properly, but after we rehearsed a couple of times, we were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That was good,” he said.
So, other than the huge sighs of relief resonating around the hall after the show, what can Macau expect from these talented people in the future?
“I think in the future we can attract more designers to design their own products. I don’t mean just the one time. Maybe twice or three times, in different shows and different exhibitions.
“I would love to do the same show maybe in Hong Kong, in Singapore, some other places. This is my plan,” said Keyvin Bi, the Council Secretary for the Association of Advertising Agents in Macau [AAAM].
This was echoed by Derek, who said, “We hope this show will go on in another venue and maybe bring this even to outside of Macau.
“This is a show that’s dedicated to Macau’s design and heritage. And we really hope this can be brought to an audience outside of Macau.”
Manuel was a bit more firm about his immediate plans for the association +853 and Ensemble Macau XXI next month.
“We are planning another concert so I think that will be our next move.
“I feel that we should add something to it, whether it’s design or video art, I’m not sure. I want to think about it.
“I’m sure we will want to make something different perhaps in the location where we do it. I am now trying to come up with ideas.
“We don’t want to lose this energy and the momentum. We know already how to do it so it’s now a question of getting the right ideas, the right place,” he said.

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