“This is a vase boot.” Fashion designer Celine Kwan is speaking over video call from her family home in Hong Kong. Onscreen, she shows a pair of purple boots that undulate in bubble-like shapes down the leg. As she pours a jug of water into the shoe, I realise the name ‘vase boot’ is to be taken literally. “Take your pick of flowers, put them in there, put them in your living room,” she laughs. Clothes into furniture, furniture into clothes – every piece in Kwan’s collection is designed to be transformable.
Kwan showed her spectacular collection, titled Welcome Home, in the Central Saint Martins BA Fashion show on June 8, the first physical show the London art school has held since the UK went into lockdown in March 2020. Half retro-futuristic space-age wardrobe, half colour-popping living room set-up, her wearable looks are designed to add brightness to the spaces that we have lived, breathed and worked in over the past year and a half – our homes. “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve often found ourselves stuck in our living rooms and reminiscing about the mundane little things that we used to take for granted,” she says. “However, it is important that we do not forget about the everyday beauty that surrounds us.”