Beijing-born, New York-based designer Snow Xue Gao — who's known for slicing up and combing Western suiting with qipao dresses — held her spring 2019 show at Chinatown's famous Cantonese dim sum house Jing Fong. Gao showed her fall collection in the same dining room back in February, but this time the adjacent space was filled with hungry patrons. A portion of unsuspecting customers seated past divider screens were treated to a show while eating.
Hong Kong society women from the '60s inspired the 2018 LVMH Prize nominee's collection. "They loved playing Mahjong and would spend days and days at the card table," she explained backstage. Naturally, Gao had six square billiard tables set up with the tile-based Chinese game at the center of the red carpet covered floor.
Dripping In Pearls
Sixties Hong Kong style mavens had an insatiable appetite for pearls — both real and costume a la Gabrielle Chanel. As an homage to their opulent approach to accessorizing, Gao punctuated her ensembles with cocktail rings, bracelets, multi-strand necklaces, brooches, and even a sleeveless shrug made of imitation pearls.
Middle-parted, pin-up hair styles with the volume of coronet-like Edwardian coiffures evoke scenes from the 1975 film Grey Gardens. Paired with Gao's de-and-re-constructed garments, the complete look reads as if Martin Margiela has dropped by 3 West End Road for cup of tea.