Cover Models wearing Vivienne Tam's FW 2021 collection at Wisdom Path.

The fashion designer turned cables cars into a runway for her first virtual show, featuring a fall collection inspired by views of Lantau Island.

Vivienne Tam is afraid of heights. “But when I got into the cable car, I was overcome by the beautiful natural landscape,” she says of taking her first ride in the Ngong Ping 360 cabins. Usually based in New York, the Covid-19 restrictions meant an unexpected year-long stay in Hong Kong for the designer, during which time she hiked in the city for the first time. Friends took her to Lantau, where the views of the sea and mountains, and a visit to the Big Buddha and Ngong Ping village gave her a sense of peace. They also inspired a new idea for her fall and winter collection.

“Since the pandemic, our lifestyle and the way we dress have changed. I’ve been hiking a lot in different places and spending more time in nature. I’ve become a new person,” Tam says. “I wanted to create a collection that reflects our lifestyle and this beautiful place called Hong Kong.” Her experiences and new hobby prompted her to to create an athleisure collection which she could wear when hiking.

Launched in October, her FW2021 collection, “City Camouflaged”, took inspiration from the hiking trails and spiritual walks around Ngong Ping, the highland area in west Lantau known for breathtaking views and tourist attractions including the cable cars, Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha. Tam hopes that her new pieces will “encourage healthy and energising outdoor activities in chic athleisure style”, adding that the collection’s vibrant colours and patterns offer a sense of joy in bleak times, as well as making its wearers stand out while hiking in the lush green forest.

Read more: Beginner Hikes: 7 Easy Hiking Trails in Hong Kong

The event marked Tam’s first virtual runway show and as well as her first collaboration with Ngong Ping. The models were filmed showcasing her designs in the cable cars, Ngong Ping Village and on Wisdom Path for the digital show which Tam hopes will help to promote Lantau’s attractions. “A virtual runway doesn’t have a fixed runway, unlike a live show. The audience can experience and immerse themselves in the scene as if they were there. It is a new way to present the fashion concept,” she says. As well as celebrating the island’s beauty Tam hopes the collection will call attention to the importance of diversity. Tam cast Paralympics wheelchair fencing gold medallist Alison Yu as a model for the campaign.

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Opening in conjunction with the launch of the collection is Ngong Ping Outdoor ARTcation. This event features a range of family-friendly activities available from now until November 7: Tam’s digital fashion show will be shown as part of an exhibition focused on her collection; there will be outdoor acrylic and mural-painting workshops for children; and a puppet parade. There are also some new attractions in the form of murals by local artists Carol Mui, Rebecca Lin and Leon Lollipop, which provide highly Instagrammable photo-taking spots.

Tam says, “In recent years, the fashion industry has been launching a lot of amazing cross-industry collaborations, and extending the sphere of creativity, such as by hosting fashion shows in new locations. Ngong Ping 360 is a special location to me. Not only does it have beautiful scenery, but the tranquil environment of Wisdom Path also clears my mind and inspires my creativity. I hope both tourists and locals will learn to see this place from a new perspective.”

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