Interview #17

MATERIAL TRANSLATION | Fading & Falling

Polly Ho Chi

Written by RMM
All Images from PMQ

Even before ‘science’ and ‘technology’ became part of our vocabulary for innovation and progress, mankind was already unravelling the future through textiles and fabrics. Time and again, the reinvention of textiles meant the technological advancement: stronger fibres, lighter fabric, zippers and even Velcro. As we evolved from Neanderthal to men clad in tweed suits, our clothing has evolved with us. Textiles have adapted, shifted, and wrapped itself around our bodies and lives through the ages.

For LOOM LOOP’s Polly Ho, a fashion designer who cut her teeth with Misa Harada in London, the history and innovation of textiles are inextricably linked to her brand and aesthetic. Polly’s garments are known for using textiles with origins from centuries, sometimes even a millennium ago: the “smart textiles” of their time. Familiar with what such fabrics can do, it’s no surprise that Fading & Falling, Polly’s collection for MATERIAL TRANSLATION, pushes her chosen smart textiles to their limits.

RMM: What inspired you to use eco-friendly fabrics, textiles and materials for your brand LOOM LOOP?

Polly: Our brand has strong emphases on sustainable fashion and conservation of traditional craftsmanship. We use one of the the heritage fabrics called the Canton silk, and were bowled over by the artisan techniques employed to dye the silk. Canton silk uses a plant based dye, river mud and solar power, and that’s why it is eco-friendly. Though the process is painstaking, it transforms the delicate and fragile silk into something with more substance that can withstand the test of time. The unusual texture and its unique appearance are the results of the organic process and chemistry from elements of nature.

As we were working for this smart fabric project, we found that most of the fabric from HKRITA is eco-friendly. And this is in line with our brand philosophy.

In weaving, the basic purpose of the loom is to hold the warped threads. In knitting, the basic structure contains multiple loops of yarn. Looming and looping are the fundamentals in knitting textiles. LOOM LOOP focuses on materials and adds value to them to make the collections elegant and valuable.

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

Polly: Just like what our brand focuses, that is, to add value to the textiles.

RMM: You mentioned that your inspiration for Fading & Falling came from an insight that people don’t really like to get out of bed — are you a morning person?

Polly: I am a person who daydreams a lot. LOL.

RMM: Can you tell us which is your favourite piece from Fading & Falling? Did anything specific inspire it?

Polly: I like all of them. One of the pieces is inspired by a actual duvet. Before waking up I use the duvet to roll myself up. The piece can be worn in multiple ways.

RMM: What was the most challenging aspect of working with the smart textiles you used for Fading & Falling?

Polly: Since most of the pieces were quilted and they were not quilted by machine, I spent more time on doing the quilting patterns perfectly.

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

Loom Loop, S205, 2F, Staunton, PMQ

Official Website of Polly Ho: http://www.loom-loop.com/