ViralFashion’s Leesa Fogarty catches up with Hong Kong based Ready to Wear Designer, Cecilia Ma at Premiere Classe, Paris
Cecilia Ma Couture is the new word on the street here. This talented designer from Hong Kong is now in her third year on the Paris scene, having debuted her first Ready-to Wear collection at Who’s Next in Paris in 2011 and launching her diffusion Jewelry collections one year later. This graduate from the School of Design from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and self-taught jewelry designer, now has not one – but two namesake labels, CECILIA MA couture and CECILIA MA BIJOUX. We uncover her SS2013 TRIBAL Collection and FW2013 KALEIDOSCOPE Collection
Leesa Fogerty: Cecilia, ViralFashion.com is pleased to see you back for your third year in Paris – this time in Premiere Class. Tell us, where is the home of Ready to Wear in your mind”?
Cecilia Ma: I think Paris is the home of Ready to Wear to me. I debuted my first Ready to Wear collection at Who’s Next where our brand was first tasted by a plethora of international buyers of high-end department stores and selected specialty boutiques. Premiere Class has been even kinder to us and we are now permanently stocked in stores internationally.
LF: In your mind what characteristics define the modern woman of today?
CM : To me she is international, passionate, dynamic, confident, open and expressive.
CM: The unconventional and striking mix of materials and color is the signature/ personality of our brand.
LF: What is your personal philosophy behind your latest collection?
CM: It is a mission of color and texture. Inspired by Tribal culture, I have fabricated a very unique jewelry collection by combining an unconventional mix of materials and colors along with crochet techniques. The striking fusion of Neon color and vintage assortments is my signature of this Tribal Collection. I enjoyed the experimentation process immensely.
CM: To me, inspiration can be found in the most unlikely places . I am in fact most attracted by the past – Vintage treasure, Flea markets, Thift-Stores. Retro films…. etc. For instance, I love to collect used post cards. I am always looking for the person’s hand-writing and their personally crafted letter. Each one so unique, articulate in its own sense and beautiful. Even bad hand-writings are tasteful and beautiful. But nowadays the new generation forgot the beauty of ”made-by-hand”. I love handmade designs very much: Furniture, craftwork, cloths, accessories……etc. When I go to flea markets, I see lot of tasteful and unique pieces. They are actually the stories from our heritage. I find these momentary escapes back to our past the most interesting and inspiring.
LF: What spectrums of your life have had the most significant impact on this area of your collections?
CM: When I was a kid, I really dreamt that I would always be a fashion designer. This ‘passion’ fuelled every step in my life. It’s the reason for my being and starting my own brand and collection was always my destination.
CM: All of our jewel and hardware has to be tested. We make sure there will not be any hazardous substance in our collection. On the other hand, we would like to convey a message ” Treasure the world and treasure the past”. We have a jewel collection called ”Old but New”. We discover hidden treasure in flea markets like: perfume mini bottles, key chains, military broach… etc. We resurrect the vintage materials and give them a second life to become a piece of jewelry. I hope the collection will inspire people to rethink the possibilities of reuse their old pieces.
LF: What steps do you think are feasible for young designers to take on the environment?
CM: I think it is important to do the lab test on hardware and synthetic fibres that they are going to use in their collection. They should work hard to avoid any use of materials which contains a high level of hazardous substance and dangerous chemicals. Quality testing is not optional.
LF: What are some of the latest trends that you are using in this collection?
CM: I actually don’t know or really care what the trend is or what the trend will be. I believe that a consumer appears our vision, our inspiration and our craftsmanship. I dream a vision, make something with my own personal taste and aesthetic by my own hands and present it to my consumer for their own editing and consideration.
CM: We have three collections of jewelry. TRIBAL collection, KALEIDOSCOPE collection and TEAKE collection. Among them, its the TRIBAL collection that speaks to me the most. Inspired by the textures and colors used in Tribal culture, this collection fabricates a very unique style by combining mix of materials such as neon-colored resin, bold colored fuchsia metal flowers, vintage assortments and wooden beads and elegant Swarovski Crystals. I enjoy making the collection by mixing and matching unusual materials and striking color.
LF: Cecilia, do you believe in vanity sizing?
CM: I think it is a ‘beautiful lie’ to make people feel better about themselves in a ‘smaller size’ of outfits. It doesn’t increase the cost of production or the retail price; Everybody is happy. Why not?
LF: Do you have any advice for other Designers?
CM: Doing business can put you on an emotional roller coaster, as you have to handle many administrative tasks. But its when you simply follow your heart that you can always create unique aesthetically appealing designs naturally… and your consumers can really discover you.