Emergency, paging doctor… Who now? Prescribing new sustainable style innovations and holding the hand of the wider public in general through workshops and videos is their raison d’être. Meet the Hong Kong doctor duo of Fashion Clinic and find out first-hand how we can Save Our Souls through sustainability.
Worried about the environmental or ethical effects of fashion but don’t know what to do about it? Scared to buy more but have nothing to wear on Saturday night? It’s a fashion SOS.
And you need a prescription.
But behold, never fear, the doctors are here! Temper hits up Toby Crispy and Kay Wong, the fashion doctors who prescribe slowness to satisfy the soul. With a little TC(f)M to tszuj it up.
Re-align Your Style Qi
Repair, reshape, redesign, re-experience. “The fashion industry is sick” goes the slogan of Hong Kong’s Fashion Clinic, launched by designers-in-recovery “The Green Artivist” Kay Wong and “LastbutnotLeast” director Toby Crispy.
Long-time friends and with a combined 30 years experience in fashion, the designers felt it was time to re-think style and experiment with more soul-satisfying and eco-friendly ways of working in fashion.
They officially formed Fashion Clinic in 2018 and came up with the four elements — repair, reshape, redesign, re-experience — to encapsulate their fashion ideal. Now after two years, Fashion Clinic is a central hub of revitalization for the mind, cloth, and soul.
Atonement-by-stitching, if you will.
Not only can one find repair and re-shaping services to fix broken or ill-fitting items, one may co-create or commission new designs made up of pre-loved clothing brought to the Clinic.
The re-experiencing of fashion comes through their many public and private workshops and events that help people to better understand the(ir) impacts of fashion and how to change their wardrobe ways for the better.
By the same trending token, the Clinic has a private personal styling service on offer teaching polished patients to re-think the way they dress and create a better wardrobe.
Designers Who Go Far, Go Together
The designer duo has long been a trusted formula for success and Crispy and Wong have found their own unique way to work in this way. “Being a duo for the first year doubled up the voice of the platform & our philosophy, we’re now moving forward to run Fashion Clinic like a clinical platform that has two doctors working individually. After all, designers have unique brains…two heads are better than one.”
Though both designers advocate to “choose well, buy less and upcycle,” Wong’s approach combines art and fashion, best seen through Fashion Anatomy — a project that depicts the delicate fragility of regions of the human body created using found fabrics and discarded hangers.
Crispy (ex Agnes B designer) also has a multi-disciplinary approach, her most recent project is a series of ‘moving stories’ including “Seeing beauty beyond eyes” (please find below) and “Time wardrobe”.
Aside from working together, the docs have not shied from collaboration, and project names include Puma, Levis, K11, Mills Fabrica, Greenpeace, and HSBC.
TC(f)M: Traditional Chinese (fashion) Medicine
No Temper article would be complete without the odd unsolicited educational note. in this case mention of traditional China. Well, TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine, to be specific. TCM involves “the mutual antagonism of yin and yang factors, the material world that is made up of the Five Elements and thus is in a constant state of flux”. Can we view the improvement of fashion health through this telescope?
Temper asked the docs if we can use the lens of Traditional Chinese medicine to improve the fashion and clothing industry as a whole.
Crispy tells us, “I think that changing the mindset is the most crucial; the re-education of how to appreciate and cherish design and craftsmanship is the most important. Once our mindset has changed, we would ask for quality over quantity, that’s what we advocate choose well, buy less and up-cycle. I think that the solution should be diversified… all small changes will make a big difference for the world.”
“We need prescriptions for change to close the loop of the consumption cycle.” Fashion Clinic
Meet the fashion ‘Maker Movement’… Hong Kong-style.
EDITED BY ELSBETH VAN PARIDON FOR THE CHINA TEMPER
FEATURED IMAGE: This picture taken on September 9, 2018, shows a participant at a “Fashion Clinic” workshop mending his old jeans. – Despite Hong Kong’s reputation for rampant consumerism, a nascent movement against fast fashion is taking root in the city, with clothes-mending workshops and pop-up swaps growing in popularity, and designers parading recycled fabrics on the catwalk. (Photo by Isaac LAWRENCE / AFP) / TO GO WITH HongKong-fashion-environment-textile-lifestyle, FEATURE by Yan ZHAO (Photo credits: ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/Getty Images)
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