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Designer Profile - Sophie Hong
Sophie Hong’s favorite fabric is genuine silk dyed with tea and then lacquered according to an ancestral Chinese process which produces an incredible and unique range of blue, green, brown and purple hues.
Simple geometrical shapes and paper-like surfaces characterize Sophie Hong’s shirts, quilted jackets, wide pants, “bark” raincoats and woven-ribbon vests. The overall effect gives a feeling of subtle superimposition to a genuinely modern woman’s wardrobe.
Lay a coarse white material on the grass, moisten it with pure yam juice, then leave it spread out under the burning sun from April to September. Later, use mud from the bottom of the river to dampen it again. Result? “Mud silk” - a fabric redolent with essences of nature - silk, grass, river, sun, earth, and the rhythm of ever-changing temperatures.
Pure oriental silk, with its modest traditional shades of green, yellow, red, white, and black, has been endowed with a whole new range of colours and styles. In the words of the Taiwanese poet Du Shi-Shan, “Sophie Hong’s material suits our bodies; it also suits our souls.”
Born in Taiwan, Sophie Hong developed a passion for clothes very early in life. Everything really began for her in 1977, when she obtained her diploma in Fashion and Design from the Shih Chien College in Taipei. But she aspired to master her chosen craft completely, and knew that she must look abroad in order to learn more than she could at home. With this in mind, she went to study at the Dunka Fashion College in Tokyo, Japan.
Sophie Hong’s great talent was obvious, and she jumped at the chance, on a scholarship from the Industrial Bureau of Taiwan, to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Two years later she traveled to France to add to her already impressive resume.
Today Sophie Hong is one of Taiwan’s top designers, and she has shown her creations at many fashion shows around the world, notably in Milan, New York and Tokyo, and at prêt-à-porter shows in Paris and elsewhere. Her success has led to her being asked to design costumes for stage plays such as Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Lady Windermere’s Fan” and dance performances by the Taigu and Tao Fu-Ian Companies. She has also designed uniforms for several restaurants and for the Taipei Choir, and served as advisor to Fashion Connection Singapore in 1994 and 1995, as well as to Taipei Young Fashion Designers.
Her work has been displayed in Paris at the Musée Galliera de la Mode et du Costume.