Z by Zlism
Photo Credit: Nici Eberl
Hong Kong illustrator and fashion designer Zoie Lam graced us with her alternative print work during the weekend. The show, titled, ‘who am I?’ explores the enduring struggle of finding one’s self. This is coupled with snippets from her imaginary world ‘Zlism’. In which all inhabitants have quirky, differing personalities yet all strive toward a common goal of ‘good will’ for our fellow man and the environment. Both concepts have been welded to present a quest for identity and positivity.
The presentation displayed unisex garments in an array of bright orange and neon green colours planted upon translucent, water proof textiles. A lot of the style was purposed as ‘ready-to-wear’ urban clothing, with various twists on track suits and anoraks, to highlight the casual nature of the collection. Alongside this were various printed messages of hope and faith, ‘go where you feel most alive’, ‘take what you need’ which reinforces the importance of inner peace and acceptance.
Photo Credit: Nici Eberl
During the medley of photographers and publications eager to speak with the designer, I managed to pick Zoie’s brain who expressed to me her concept of the collection; no one really knows who they are and this is a universal question. In her words her work is a collaboration between her illustrated world and fashion to promote positivity, bravery and to express beauty. Sharing that ‘money is a phase’ and so by this logic we need to source our happiness from one another opposed to the material world. This is perhaps why her collection resembles everyday life opposed to opulence; alike to the collection she wants her message to be accessible.
Some of the models where adorned with big, industrial clasps across their chests with the inscription ‘in sight’ again promoting the audience to look inside themselves. Almost all had neon cat-eye sunglasses held up with heavy duty chains and at points during the presentation the models either twirled these as if part of their hair or chewed on them nonchalantly. Being another expression of self-exploration, breaking or mocking the proverbial chains of society that encase us within this sense of confusion. The material of her clothing also resonated with her message, various transparent trousers and anorak-type over coats force you to peer inside and therefore inside yourself. The bright, neon orange and green, almost like that of UV jackets reflecting Zoie’s message literally and metaphorically.
Altogether the presentation was fascinating, Zoie has managed to work with this general feeling of unease and present it in an urban, relaxed way unbridled by anxiety and create something not only beautiful but incredibly thought provoking.