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SILK ROAD–A new exhibition charting the course of silk from production techniques to its use in ancient Chinese costumes and blended fabrics in contemporary fashion is on display at the Hong Kong Design Institute. 

Running from Sep. 30 to Dec. 2, it is a collaborative effort the school undertook with the China Silk Museum in Hangzhou, the world’s largest silk museum, and displays 18 contemporary and six ancient costumes. The modern section includes designs from Guo Pei, Barney Cheng, Blanc de Chine and a collection of cheongsams from the local collective Cheongsam Connect.

“We’d like to introduce the rich Chinese heritage [in fashion] especially made of silk and silk production to our students,” said Elita Lam, the department of fashion and image design head for Hong Kong Design Institute.

“Students who study fashion design receive a lot of influence from Europe of the U.S.” she continued, “but for China, this is a first time for them to witness  a whole collection for a different period. This time we tried to merge everything together. It’s a one stop shop, they see everything.”

“We don’t say that the Chinese invented silk as it’s created from the natural world,” said Edith Cheung, a textiles specialist and consultant for the exhibition, “but the Chinese discovered it and domesticated. The first priority is for the design students to be aware of this. For Hong Kong students, China is not exactly the fashion capital so [they may think] why should I try to understand? That’s why we also put the ancient [costumes] part. To let them know how rich the culture is and hopefully something will inspire them.”

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