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Kay Kwok

The winner of the International Fashion Contest 2012 talks ancient Egyptian culture and neoprene

Hong Kong native Tsz Fung Kwok, or Kay Kwok as he's commonly known, graduated this year from London College of Fashion. On tailoring in techy textiles like neoprene, Kwok plays with chiaroscuro to produce optical illusions that vibrate across the silhouette. The recent winner of the International Fashion Contest told Dazed Digital about his interest in ancient Egyptian cosmology and emotive prints.

Print represents the visual element, which can express a feeling easily while technical fabrics offer new possibilities in menswear

Dazed Digital: How would you describe your aesthetic?
Kay Kwok: I would say forward-thinking and fresh.

DD: You've worked with unusual fabrics, like neoprene. What do you think about pushing boundaries of menswear?
Kay Kwok: Personally, print and fabric are essential elements for when I design. And they are a must to push menswear design forward. Print represents the visual element, which can express a feeling easily while technical fabrics offer new possibilities in menswear.

DD: Your graduate collection had really interesting inspiration, can you tell us about that?
Kay Kwok: As I am always attracted by mysterious stories I chose to focus on ancient Egyptian history. However, there were so many designers that have used this as an inspiration for their collection that I spent around a month researching to try and find something new and interesting. And, finally I drew inspiration from the ancient Egyptian religion and cosmology: the mysterious story behind Sphinx, the relationship between the process of mummy erosion and the system of ancient Egyptian's constellation. Like the stories Solar, Lunar and Stella. I combined the ideas to create prints, which played with shades, light and flames. I'm aiming to push digital printing into a new area with the twist of classic menswear tailoring. Printed neoprene fabric is widely used in the collection because of its fleshy hand-feel.

DD: Congratulations on winning the International Fashion Contest at the Mittelmoda Fashion Awards. How does it feel to be recognised for your work already?
Kay Kwok: I was so surprised that I won! And, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mittelmoda. For me, it wasn't easy to win the International Fashion Contest, as I don't always think exaggerated collections like mine are a favourite with the judges. However, this is what I do and that is why I design fashion. The prize does mean a lot to me as it is not only the financial support that keeps my brand running but, it is also a mental support that urges me try my best with my brand.