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Collections他 FASHION 傳奇 EDDIE LAU 她 IMAGE 百變 劉培基From Apprentice Tailor to Fashion Designer
特藏他 FASHION 傳奇 EDDIE LAU 她 IMAGE 百變 劉培基小裁縫到設計師
From Apprentice Tailor to Fashion Designer

A legend is born with the early year marked by hardship and a sense of drift. Brought up in a caring family, but then sent away as a young child; sure of his mother’s love, then abandoned. At a tender age, he learned to stand up and believe in himself. He had to be strong and work hard for a better life. Eddie Lau embodies the ‘Hong Kong spirit’.

Until the age of six, Eddie had a happy childhood, growing up safe in the love of his mother. After she remarried, however, Eddie began to live under other people’s roofs at the age of eight, shunted from house to house. In 1962, the 11-year-old Eddie was sent to serve as an apprentice under Shanghai tailor Hai Hung-fat at his workshop in Mirador Mansion in Tsim Sha Tsui. Learning from his master the craftsmanship that was to prove so enduringly useful throughout his life, the abandoned boy of our story now emerges as a skilful junior tailor. The workshop was like the ‘wooden dummy alley’ of a martial arts novel, providing the young apprentice with all the opportunities he needed to hone his technique. It was at this time that he learned how to ‘reveal the good and conceal the bad’ according to the proportions of the human body. Eddie also came to understand that clothes had to be more than just pretty on the outside: meticulous attention also had to be paid to the lining. Everything he learned became the inspiring foundation for the three major requirements in fashion design: silhouette, simplicity and elegance.

Having completed his apprenticeship, Eddie Lau opened his own shop at the age of just 16. While the business provided him with a relatively decent and stable life, Eddie harboured a desire to go to the next level, to make a breakthrough in his career. So he worked hard, saved his money and, in 1973, embarked on a journey to study design: enrolling in the renowned fashion design institute St. Martin’s School of Art in London, he left Hong Kong for the United Kingdom to take an evening programme in advanced clothing and material design. Embracing the world and immersed in art, he was enlightened with new perceptions about aesthetics and design. In ELLE magazine interview in August 1991, Eddie recalled his experience: “Before I went to England to pursue my studies, I can say that life to me was work, and that was pretty much it. But in London I was stimulated by the freedom and artistic environment there, and I began to understand better what fashion design really was. I fell in love with the work I had been used to for so long. Matching the colours, creating the overall image, learning about the feeling, the materials, the lines and silhouettes, applying three-dimensional tailoring and receiving solid training, all this helped me appreciate good taste and elegance. The theory that I learned underpinned the skills I had already acquired, and my years of practical experience illuminated the theories more vividly, so the two complemented each other. I gained a deep understanding of how important it is for a designer to have a truly solid foundation.’

After several years of hard work and then his diligent studies, Eddie Lau returned to Hong Kong in 1975 in triumph with his first collection. His customers witnessed how a junior tailor had been transformed into a fashion designer. He exemplified the ‘Hong Kong spirit’. A legend was born.

  • Eddie Lau childhood picture (1)

  • Eddie Lau childhood picture (2)

  • Eddie Lau teenage picture (1)

  • Eddie Lau teenage picture (2)

  • From Apprentice Tailor to Fashion Designer: Int...

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