Interview #19

MATERIAL TRANSLATION | Smart Textile Fairytale

Chailie Ho

Written by RMM
Images by PMQ

Imagine: a shirt that cleans itself (stains, be gone!) or a dress that dries itself in no time; a skirt made from yesterday’s food scraps; a sweater that never ever pills; uniforms that stay wrinkle and dirt free. This is not a futuristic fairytale. The weaving of fashion and technology might unfold much sooner than you think, thanks to the efforts of designers and scientists around the world.

Chailie Ho’s Dancing Planets, a capsule collection produced exclusively for MATERIAL TRANSLATION, seeks inspiration from the seemingly magical possibilities that smart textiles bring to fashion. Dancing Planets is a wonderful twist on Chailie’s eponymous womenswear label, which is all about the romance of being a modern, independent woman. The colliding of hard, masculine science and flowy, feminine fantasy results in a breathtaking collection.

RMM: What was your inspiration behind Dancing Planets’s story?

Chailie Ho: The theme of this collection was originally ‘Dream, or Jail', inspired by a story. The story is quite an elaborate set-up, with a Georgian era slave who seemingly finds a happy ending but only have a more sinister fate await her. It reflects the unfair social system where we are still in now, where people cannot afford what they made.

I visited some lace museums in UK and got a lot of inspiration. I saw how people hand made lace at the past, and went through the whole history of lace. They are lovely, impressive and inspiring.

RMM: How did you incorporate the Plant-Structured Woven textile and 4-in-1 Technology silk in your designs for Dancing Planets?

Chailie Ho: Silk is the main fabric that my brand normally uses; and 4-in-1 technology enhances the flexibility and durability of silk, that makes silk a more accessible material for daily use.

RMM: What do you think makes a textile “smart”?

Chailie Ho: When technology makes fabric more user-friendly and convenient to the users, it becomes smart to me.

RMM: What was the most challenging aspect of creating Dancing Planets?

Chailie Ho: Many of the smart textile are designed for practical use, and the main challenge is to transform the good function of smart textile into luxury leisure wear.

RMM: What do you like the most about working with smart textiles? Would you be using more of such fabrics in your future collections?

Chailie Ho: I like the way they improve and enhance our existing products. We will apply the 4-in-1 technologies into our silk wear collection once the cost get lower when the technology improved.

Official Website of MATERIAL TRANSLATION - Smart Fashion event and Exhibition: www.pmq.org.hk/event/material-translation-smart-fashion-runway-exhibition/

CHAILIE HO, S409, 4F, Staunton, PMQ

Official Website of CHAILIE HO: http://www.chailieho.com/