A Day in the Life of Hins Cheung’s Stage Costume Designer
On November 3, Canto-pop heartthrob Hins Cheung’s bridalwear brand Sennet Frères launched the world’s first couture collection inspired by Disney princesses. The “fairy godmother” who conjured up 28 elaborate wedding and evening gowns—slim or voluminous, some swathed with crystals, some embracing the cosiness of velvet, some covered in delicate lace—is Hong Kong fashion designer Kev Yiu, who has been a long-time friend of and costume designer for Cheung.
The Sennet Frères creative director has been designing wedding gowns for two decades. When Yiu was studying fashion design in London, his tutor was a corset specialist, who taught him how to create tailored pieces that best complement a women’s figure. Yiu brought the technique back to Hong Kong, and uses it to create close-fitting wedding gowns which at the same time play with volume.
We asked Yiu to share a typical day in his life as a fashion designer.
I never tried to set anything fancy on my phone; anything that wakes me up will do, usually it’s a standard ringtone. Then I pop to the pantry for a big mug of black tea or coffee with supplements. I am currently on an 8/16 diet, which means having an eight-hour window in which to eat, and fasting the remaining 16 hours of the day. Skipping breakfast helps my inner system detox.
My cats are my morning companions. I make sure they all have their morning treats before I start my work.
Unless I have an appointment with a client in the city, I usually work from home, as I live in a village house in the countryside. The quietness helps me to think more clearly. I make sure my work station is clean and organised before I start working on new designs or embroideries. Cleaning up the mess from previous tasks is a must. It helps me focus.
I have my targeted tasks listed out on a schedule board at my home studio. Crossing out each task after completing it is very satisfying.
I have lunch at home or in the office in the city. I like having my meal in a quiet space—I bring my tools with me just in case inspiration strikes. Sometimes, I order takeaway, and sometimes my lunch is just unexciting leftovers from the fridge. Other times, I have a large portion of salad. I try my very best to avoid eating too many carbs.
I usually take a 15-to-30-minute nap after lunch. Some people call it beauty sleep. To me, it’s a “reboot button” that I press to help me perform better for the rest of the day.
My afternoon is not too different from the morning. I stay focused on my remaining tasks and improve my designs if necessary.
My reward on a busy day is a night-time movie with a cocktail. I also like to take a hot shower then apply scented body lotion to wind down. I use scented oil to set a relaxing mood for my evening—recently I am into wood-based scents. The most effective way to unwind, however, is to have a social-media-free environment. Avoiding the internet seems unrealistic but it helps to prevent me overthinking or getting too excited at night.
I try to have at least six hours of quality sleep. Sometimes lying in bed with no purpose is a great treat too, especially when you have finally finished an intense project.
‘A Day In The Life’ is a Tatler weekly cultural series, which delves into lives of the tastemakers in Hong Kong’s arts scene