Six Lee SS16
The SS16 collection from Hong Kong designer, Six Lee, is inspired by the idea that while we constantly stay connected with our technology advances, we are more disconnected. Using the influence of Italian Tape Artist No Curves, Lee employed techniques such as heat on transfer, embroidery and faux leather panel to represent the disconnection and connection while the shiny, coated and metallic fabrics were chosen to give a sense of shininess while isolated (that moment when you disconnect yourself from other to connect with your tech screen).
Renown for crafting collections that mix the classic with the new, Lee is one of the few who has cleverly engaged traditional tailoring to make a statement on modern twists and silhouettes. The SS16 collection continues with his romantic aesthetic, complete with clean cuts, sharp lines and boyish details. Blazers are cropped, shorts are baggy and tops are sleeveless. The fabrics of the collection are striped jacques, striped wool and cotton, striped transparent silk cotton which came with shiny and metallic element.
After graduating from the prestigious Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp, Lee moved to London to work in the menswear team alongside the late Alexander McQueen. While cutting one’s teeth in the European market sounds enticing and has its merits, Lee noticed the shift in the changing attitudes towards mens trends back home and returned to Hong Kong.
Another reason for the move was the attraction of factories in China which are known for cheaper productions. As an upcoming designer, it made sense from a monetary point of view and be based close.
No Curves’ tape art involves a technique where he slices strips of tape and layers the colours until images appear from the weaving of lines. While this style of work is complex, it also symbolizes the neural and synaptic connections at the basis of the art of ‘creating’. This inspiration of different colour tapes and techniques is prevalent at how Lee puts together the SS16 collection where lines and stripes represent the symbolic of the ‘connection’.
Few designers put together collections that emanate from such a poetic vision but Six Lee continues to do so. The collection maintains a luxurious and unique approach and though not for everyone, it will certainly sit well for those who has an appreciation for high art and beautiful clothing.
I sat down with Lee to talk about the concept behind the SS16 lookbook, what he thinks of the Hong Kong menswear scene and where he sees the brand in five years.
– The lookbooks and campaigns often have a dreamy yet edgy feel to them. How did you come up with the concept for the SS16 lookbook which also has that dreamy, edgy mood?
I always enjoy working with other talented people to understand their perspective through my world. For SS16, I worked with a Seoul based visual artist Cho Giseok, whose works often contain very bold and stunning visuals. The idea for this shoot is his visual interpretation of the collection’s concept.
– What is the menswear scene like in Hong Kong these days?
There are many up and coming menswear designers in Hong Kong and I am very glad to see more of them doing what they love. Most consumers are turning to mass-produced or luxury brands so it’s great to see more independent designers with their own vision bridging that middle market.
– You collaborated with Aqua Two on a capsule collection of sneakers for AW15. How did that collaboration come about? Are there any future collaborations coming up?
As a designer, I am always looking for a challenge and I thought sneakers would be interesting to design since it is so technically involved. I got the chance to visit the Aqua Two factory and learned the production process before collaborating with them for the AW15 sneakers. It was a very fun project. We collaborated on the SS16 sandals and now I am developing the AW16 collection.
– Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
I will continue doing what I love to do based on my own aesthetic and vision. Of course I would dream about having a show in Paris as well as continuing to grow my brand.