Monday, October 19, 2009

Stealth Brands: Colonial Hong Kong Tailors

HOW I wish the the Victoria & Albert (or one of the world's other great costume collections) would do a show on the extraordinary tailoring that took place mid-century in Hong Kong, or as it was more fully elaborated back in those days, the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong. Chinese ladies of ample means, diplomat's wives, consorts of trading-house wealth--all called upon a retinue of craftspeople who worked to the highest standard of quiet luxe and exquisite workmanship.

Insane brocades. Galaxies of beadwork. And tailoring so precise the garments fit like a second skin.

Here's one example, from Magnificent Vintage. Countless others abound in vintage shops, online and bricks-and-mortar, ignored in favor of lesser garments because the name on the label rings no bell. Even Malcolm Starr, the best-known label of the lot, is frequently underpriced given the quality of the clothes.

DINGDINGDING. Hong Kong. Keyword that in, and you will be astounded at the treasures you find.

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