May Chow dishes on food at fashion at Omnivore
Omnivore has just ended at the Palais de la Mutualité in Paris. This gathering of chefs from around the world does not have an equivalent in the fashion world. Karl Lagerfed would have to mix with the designers from J. Press or the founders of Cuisse de Grenouille. However, fashion is not entirely absent at Omnivore. Literally and figuratively, as witnessed by Mai Chow from the Little Bao restaurant in Hong Kong. She explained her taste for clothing and the relationship between food and fashion to FashionMag.com.
FashionMag.com: You have a fashion style... Is fashion important for you? When did you start paying attention to fashion?
May Chow: I have lived most of my life in a very cosmopolitan city. Therefore, I was very aware of fashion since a young age. I tried different types of styles when I was young from anything like Hiphop baggy jeans, levis 501s, doctor martens to gold lame tights.
FM: How do you choose your clothes? Where do you buy them? Which shops? Why?
MC: I pick clothes like I pick what food to eat. I avoid mass produced fast fashion items. I like long-lasting pieces that I would wear again and again. I almost like the artisanal aspect so when I understand the story and the people behind the brand. I am extra supportive. I always have my Vans shoes, Nikes, I shop at local Hong Kong fashion brand Initial. I love Carven, Tshirts by Etre cecile. I love shopping at curated shops like Edit and Kapok in HK.
FM: How do you see evolving fashion? What do you think about the fashion designers, stylists? About Uniqlo?
MC: I love craftmanship. I don't mind paying extra for quality and design overall I love smaller name brands and as a chef I know creativity is important and I don't appreciate bigger fast fashion companies that just copy other people's original ideas and mass produce. For Uniqlo, I think they have a good basic wear selection like good fitted jeans, basic Ts etc. However, I still prefer to shop at smaller shops and brands.
FM: Is there a different behavior between Asia and Europe?
MC: In China, general public may fall for the big name brands for different reasons. To fit into society, to prove their wealth etc. They are easy to fall for new trends but the style does not reflect their own lifestyle. Therefore, people will shop at H&M for fast fashion items and then carry an LV bag. However, I think there is a large increase in the sophisticated dresser that really understand how to dress well to fit their lifestyle.
FM: How could you explain that today, the chefs are fashionable, tattooed?
MC: I think chefs now are younger, more adventurous and we have an occupation where no one cares if you have a tattoo, or a huge stash. There is no dress code unlike an office job and chefs don't care to be judged. Therefore, many chefs are comfortable and able to show their own style.
FM: Is there a link between fashion and cooking? Imagination, creativity... What is the difference between your job and being a fashion designer?
MC: I think fashion designer and chef are the same. It is something artisanal and its a curated experience. People who truly appreciate fashion can feel and see by touch and looking at a piece and just go Wow look at those details and when a simple white t-shirt, if well designed can fit perfectly on the body providing the utmost comfort. The best will consider all the details and people like us who are into craftsmanship are willing to pay as a pure appreciation for the work.
FM: Do you think that gastronomy is like a fashion? Trendy like clothes?
MC: I think some can be trendy but both gastronomy and fashion are constantly evolving and good chefs and designers are passionately creating new and interesting experiences for the consumer. However, there will always have the classics and the ones that push the buttons and create trends and experiences.
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