Thanks to her university studies, IVY LAM has gone from scouting for fabric in Sham Shui Po to showing at London Graduate Fashion Week. Ivy is a proud graduate of Hong Kong’s Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), one of the city’s private non-profit universities specialising in the creative arts. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion is a big achievement in its own right, but it’s married with another huge milestone: showing her graduation collection at London Graduate Fashion Week.
We caught up with Ivy to hear about her collection, Bloom, and her experience at one of the fashion world’s most coveted events.
Where did you find inspiration for your collection?
Bloom is inspired by the Chinese phrase “floral world” (花花世界), symbolising numerous types of flowers as a metaphor for our diverse society. The concept defines self-expression and identity through the experimentation of hybridising different styles and silhouettes.
Is there a main design motif in Bloom?
An orchid is used as the focus for the design elements in terms of prints, style lines, shapes, forms, textures and layers.
What did you set out to achieve with the collection?
To explore the possibilities of future contemporary womenswear. The collection is an exploration beyond sophistication and vulnerability; it juxtaposes athletic fashion and men’s tailoring techniques in womenswear to offer versatility for young women on the go.
London Graduate Fashion Week
What was the best part about showing your pieces in London?
Simply being a part of this prestigious international event, connecting with future fashion designers from all over the world and seeing their inspirational works.
What was the most intimidating part?
Definitely time management! Because I’m a perfectionist, I designed, patterncut and sewed all my garments to ensure every detail was spot-on. I went through the redo process a lot for this collection, so it was really time consuming. Also, the fact that I had to deliver all six outfits while taking other classes at the same time was stressful.
Did you meet anyone interesting?
I met a lot of inspiring people from the industry at London Graduate Fashion Week; they’re all very kind and passionate in helping promote young fashion designers.
Learning Fashion Design
What opportunities did studying at SCAD give you?
I was able to enter various international competitions, like the LVMH contest and London Graduate Fashion Week. SCAD supported me in many ways such as inviting industry experts over to review my collection, offering scholarships, providing different types of machines, equipment and even technical guidance.
What’s been the highlight of your time at SCAD?
Going on sourcing trips down to Sham Shui Po with friends! Each time we went, we were inspired by what we found in the neighbourhood. It was great to head outside the classroom on the inspiring field trips organised by the professors. I really enjoyed the visits to different places to learn different techniques; and the professors were very supportive, too – they gave me lots of advice and suggestions.
Is it a nice campus?
Yes, very nice! There are artworks all around. The artistic environment here always inspires and excites me, which is crucial to the creative process of design. There aren’t other universities in Hong Kong like SCAD that focus on both art and design. Art is very important to me since it helps develop my own aesthetic and style.
SCAD is one university offering fashion degrees in Atlanta and Savannah in the US state of Georgia, here in Hong Kong, and online via eLearning; plus, there are additional study abroad opportunities in Lacoste, France and elsewhere. Students can choose to study at any of these locations during their education, from finding their muse in Lacoste to falling in love with the southern charm of Savannah. Or, they can choose their own setting with the eLearning option.
Savannah College of Art and Design
292 Tai Po Road, Sham Shui Po
Images by Katie Ulsh and Mathushaa Sagthidas
See more in our Living in Hong Kong section:
Things to do and see in Hong Kong
What it’s like to live in Hong Kong
Creative courses from art to fashion
This article first appeared in the October/ November 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.