Interview with Loom Loop’s Founder in Fashion Hong Kong Presentation During London Fashion Week
“I love fashion, I love culture, I love everything with stories!” Sodium Collective’s fashion writer Adam Chi Lung Chan did an interview with Polly Ho (founder of fashion brand Loom Loop) during Fashion Hong Kong presentation in London.
During the interview with Sodium Collective, we asked Polly Ho about herself, her brand, her personal identity, her views on Hong Kong fashion and style and Hong Kong fashion scene, how she balances trends in commercial fashion with her original design.
Polly Ho graduated with BA (Hons) of Arts and Design from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and University of Central England. Autumn/Winter 2019-2020 collection was her first time showcasing her collection in London. (Ho presented her collections at Tokyo and New York before). When we asked her about herself, It is clear that Ho is passionate about arts and fashion.
“Since I was 5 years old I knew I would be a designer, this is who and what I am, I love fashion, I love culture, I love everything with stories. I studied university in Birmingham and I did an internship in Misa Harada in London years ago,” she says.
Loom Loop AW2019 collection collaborated with London based Hat/headpiece brand Misa Harada. Professionally, founder Polly Howorked in Misa Harada when she studied in the UK and therefore she found collaborating with former boss to be a very meaningful experience for her. The Loom Loop Autumn/Winter 2019-2020 collection is titled “Concrete Jungle”, the collection was inspired by a unique Chinese symbol: a tiger which Ho randomly found in an old-fashioned green tin hawker stall right next to the modern skyscrapers in Hong Kong. Tigers are historically been painted going uphill or going downhill. The ancient Chinese firmly believed that uphill tigers symbolise wealth while downhill tigers can ward off evil spirits and bring peace.
The collection was heavily inspired by the cultures in Hong Kong and how its unique political and cultural environment caused Ho to question her own identity. “Now we are Chinese: Hong Kong, before we were British: Hong Kong, you know the culture things, made me question myself, my identity, that’s why I created a plastic Cheongsam, the model can take off, that’s the whole concept about the identity. Culture is the soul of design, if there’s no culture involved, I felt lost, before [The transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong] am I British or Hong Kong? Now, Are we Chinese? I can speak Cantonese [Official Spoken language in Hong Kong] But I cannot speak in fluent Mandarin [Official spoken language in Mainland of China],” she said.
When we asked Hong Kong fashion is being underrated/underrepresented, Ho said “ Hongkongese are more likely more admire International brands, if your brand didn’t get “international”, (I’m not saying they’re looking down on you) they would question your brand, you have to be very strong-minded, make your brand “international” and come back to Hong Kong, that will be good.”
Styling and fashion trends are very important when it comes to design, a good styling can transform simple designs (textiles or shapes) to a marvellous collection, when we ask her if she follows any trend (trend book) or styling guides, she responds without a doubt.
“Of course I follow trends, as a professional, you have to know the trends, how you balance your original/your own style to commercial fashion, not only do what you wanted, you have to know what’s the trends, on the other hand, you’re not a copy-cat, you have to balance, how you’re going to balance, that’s the tricky part for a fashion designer,” she said.
She added. “Most of Hong Kongese thought designer and stylist are the same, even though it’s two totally different jobs, it’s our job to change their perspectives.”
It is very true that the majority of Hong Kongese who are not working in the fashion industry would think Stylist and Designer are the same job. To make a long story short Stylists style and match different/same types of clothing to an outfit, which may include varieties of accessories(bags/shoes/jewellery) whilst Designers design and/or make the garment patterns and silhouettes or the textiles themselves (print, knit, embroidery).
And finally – what’s next? What’s the next step for the brand? “I go with my flow, I don’t want to push myself too much, I would like to try get more stock out, and make the brand more “international”, once I achieved the goal I will go back to my hometown, hope people can appreciate my designer identity,” she said.
Adam, Chi Lung Chan | Writer | @adamfromfashion
Sorn | Photographer | @sorn_ks
Video by Ken @ken.jongtus