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Our partners from IN-PROCESS BY HALL OHARA have not only contributed several avant-garde designs to our collections, they also surprised us with this sweet dada collage for Chinese New Year. A heartwarming re-start for NEEMIC after a long break from Christmas until after Chinese New Year.

London-born Steven Hall and Tokyo-born Yurika Ohara both graduated in 2003 from Central Saint Martins College and together established the label “IN-PROCESS”. They debuted during S/S 06 at LFW (?London Fashion Week?), winning the New Generation Award. Since then they have gained a larger audience with fashion walks in Paris and JFW (? or Tokyo Fashion Week ? ).

Hall Ohara's design is a bit showy, a bit quiet; a little humorous, a little serious. Their designs enrich our S/S 2011 collection with a free spirit. Combined with the high-quality organic fabric, the unruly passion of “IN-PROCESS” reflects on the urban woman with a youthful, care-free heart.
Yurika shares insights into cutting-edge organic fashion design in the following short interview:

NEEMIC: What's the meaning and the concept behind your work/collection?
Yurika Ohara: Capturing the energy of a garment that is in the process of being made.

What are the key elements/materials you use for your clothing design?
We generally like to juxtapose organic or natural fabrics with synthetics.

What is the main message you are trying to express through your work?
To show our taste.

What's the importance of organic fashion in Japan/Asia?
(do you think there is a higher relevance of organic fashion and lifestyle products:food,cosmetics,etc. in the last few years? if so,do you know the possible reasons?)
Within fashion, organic fabrics are gaining an increasingly important role. It seems many purchasers in the industry realize that consumers start to care whether the fabrics are environmentally-friendly, non-allergical to their skin and that they are produced under fair labour conditions.   

What do you think about fashion in China?
Progressive.

Could you please write/draw something for our NEEMIC readers?
Hello NEEMIC readers, I hope you like the dada collage I did :-)

Posted by Emma at February 8th, 2012 

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Ma Ke is one of our favorite Chinese fashion designers. Through her anti-consumerist concept and her purist aesthetic, which is often represented in artistic performances, she gained world wide attention.

Her fashion is well known for its use of eco-friendly fabrics, recylced materials and for its traditional dyeing methods.
Her haute-couture fashion brand  "WUYONG / Useless" is a creative expression of her understanding with “what is clothing”. It is silent, organic and reflexive. 2008,”WU YONG / Useless” was presented at Paris Haute Couture Week.
 
"Useless"
 
Ma Ke also has a ready-to wear line called “EXCEPTION de Mixmind”, which is strongly based on nature and animism. 
 
"Exception De Mixmind"
 
Posted by Emma at November 26th, 2011 
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At first sight, BrandNü is just another beautiful little shop in Beijing’s Wudaoying hutong, where colorful wardrobe stands next to felt-baby-shoes and organic soap. A closer look reveals a wealth of fantastic design and an impressive social enterprise driven by ethical people with business sense.

BrandNü (Nü is 女, meaning woman) was initiated in 2008 by Nathan Zhang, who understood that urban design can be a major link between underprivileged communities in the countryside and the money and appreciation of the city dwellers.

There are two main pillars to the shop: one, recycled clothing, that is, gorgeous patchwork hoodies, jackets, and wearable sculptures designed by China’s rising talents Zhang Na from (na)too and Sarah Yun.

Second, a host of beautiful artisanal from the many community projects supported by BrandNü. Highest quality Tibetan yak-wool scarfs, handmade jewellery, and even some framed drawings from people with disabilities (few renowned artists have ever touched me to the point that art brut has). Being a community platform just as much as a shop, there is always something new going on. Like the two thousand wonderful patchwork sheets sent to Indian birth centres last Friday. This is how business should be done.

Posted by Jonas at November 17th, 2011 

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Shao Yen is a London-based knit designer, who was born and raised in Taiwan. He has graduated successfully with a womensline in Central St. Martins and despite his young age, he already managed to intern at Alexander McQueen, Claire Tough and Hussein Chalayan.

The idea behind Shao Yen´s Designs is to combine traditional knitting techniques with unusual and innovative materials. He mixes nylon string with cashmere, a touch of lycra and other miraculous materials to form extraordinary bold, graphic yet soft silhouettes. Quite impressive, so we think, and wonder what comes next. But first, let’s have a look at Shao Yen’s fluffy oeuvre:

( photo via www.shao-yen.com )

Posted by Amihan at November 14th, 2011

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The eyes should be pleased with beautiful fashion, fair enough that also the ears should be caressed with stylish music. Luckily for our ears, our base Hong Kong hosts a bouquet of bands playing decent independent sounds. Our current favorites are DADA BABA with their ingenious, phonogen noise-pop prog-rock perls. Music is better to listen to than to read, so give an ear to “Ài (shàng nǐ de) mèimei – Love (on your) Sister”:

DADA BABA - 愛(上你的)妹妹 from LEE KAI HO on Vimeo.

Lead singer Kit Tam takes the audience in their live gigs on a travel, let them float and divulge in DADA BABA’s bitter-sweet melodies, just to suddenly gear-up the beat and energize the crowd with euphoric tunes. Witness the eruptive nature of their sound at 1:31 in the above video. Torn between indie rock and Chinese folk elements are they capable to please both, mainstream tastes and demanding music lovers. Having played so far in atmospheric underground locations, it is a question of time until DADA BABA will sonify masses in football stadiums. But can independent b(r)ands keep up their creativity while becoming big?

Posted by Hans at November 9th, 2011 

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A Friday evening in London in autumn. The pubs are packed, people drinking their pints and large glasses of wine, relaxed chit chat – a smooth start to the weekend ahead and I was waiting fort the Korean fashion designer Chloe. I made myself at home in a massive armchair at Dover Street Market on the first floor and there were three times as many shop assistants as there were costumers, periodically harassing me whether they could show me something. I kindly but firmly declined each and every time, just eyeing over to the pretty leather ware and nice shirts- items I could not even afford, if they were on sale.

Finally she turns up and by the look on her face, I could tell that it was the sort of late, when the weather, the tube and the whole world seems to have turned against oneself. Chloe, between juggling her fashion label, a day job and moving house, squeezed in this interview and we both came quickly to the agreement that we rather have a ‘real’ drink instead of coffee and went gladly to the next pub…

The first thing which has to be clarified here is, that Chloe is not her given name, but a name she took on to accommodate the laziness by Westerners to remember Asian names. Her real name is Doh-Young Kim and let’s agree… it is not that hard to remember! Doh-Young studied fashion design in Korea and after working a few years as a design assistant for Levi’s she decided to do a Masters in the UK. This year she graduated, based on her successful degree she was sent as a representative to the Paris fashion week by the Korean government, to represent Korea. Also at last years fashion week, where she introduced her fresh and new label Free.Radical., she met the people behind NEEMIC.

My first question was, whether she sees her clothes in the context of a rather international style or whether they have something specifically Asian or Korean.
She replied: “Well,especially Scandinavian labels have a very strong influence on nowadays fashion, and many trends often emerge from there. However, if you look at traditional Korean dresses, they are very simple and clean cut as well and there are hardly any patterns involved – so… I think that in their simplicity my clothes have something very Korean about them.”

She went on, that she only designs clothes she also would like to wear herself. In general she avoids clothes, which are too tight or to revealing and creates slick, clean cut and elegant pieces, which can be worn for any occasion, what is the purpose of so many women in our urban and globalised world. Further to that, just over her dead body will ever be an animal print in any of her garments! She states: “As trendy as it might be, I just hate it!” and gives me a sly grin.
In general she describes the fashion and it’s future in a very mater-of-fact way. She strongly hopes that the new trends will be material, sustainability and fair-trade in the fashion industry and less of a fashion craze season after season, moving away from consumerism to quality. Having stated that, she pauses and adds: “…but there is still a long way to go to change peoples behaviour, but labels like NEEMIC make the first steps in this direction.”

My last question was, what piece of advice she would give a young fashion designer at in his or her first year at fashion school. “Read, listen to music, go to exhibitions, keep your eyes peeled for social issues and current affairs… You will find inspiration everywhere, but don’t read fashion magazines!”

Following some designs of Chloe for NEEMiC:

Posted by Daivd at November 7th, 2011 

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