Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Coaxing the kitsch out of tradition, is how the show notes penned by Susie put it. A decade since he dropped his anchor in London's bustling multicultural harbour, Ryan Lo's homage to his hometown of Hong Kong is inescapably tinged with all the gloss and glow of the local Chinatown. Too sweet on your taste buds, wrapped up with satiny bows and deceptively cheap. And yet, as a native designer looking back to his roots, Ryan is able to package it all into a look of such fondness. A romantic by heart and trade, his leading heroine this season, naturally, is Disney's Mulan – who more actively than any other princess is known to have questioned historical customs and rules, to win herself a happy ending and many musical interludes. Her Reflections, together with Amanda Lear's Queen of Chinatown, provide the collection with a picturesque mix in soundscape and mood. What Ryan does, with a list of references that further unfolds towards post-millennium Chinese melodramas and costume soaps, is making heritage accessible, pervasive, pop and candy for folks abroad. Knowing hints of cheongsams, peasants' ensembles and empresses' robes are simplified, westernised maybe a bit with Ryan's signature glam fantasy twist. Rosy cheeks and ribbons in their hair, his girls walk the aisle as bridesmaid from the countryside visiting the city for the first time, fur-lined stiletto heels and opalescent tulle frocks in shades of lilac. Donned up as woolly bouquets, with pink satin slip dresses or DIY lace patchworks worn right underneath. Blown-up butterflies, tigers and lobsters animate the knitwear, and buttery faux fur stoles sit on their shoulders, looking like not so long ago, they might have been the cuddly toys of their childhoods.