Mark Lui Design Works

Every colour has a purpose, and those chosen by Mark Lui for a fashion boutique tells a story about dreams flying high

TEXT: Teresa Chow

In Hong Kong, where grubby apartment blocks boast extravagant names of grandeur – ‘mansions’ which are clearly not, or ‘vistas’ where there are none – it is unusual when something comes along which lives up to its name. Today Is Cool, a new boutique in the LCX Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay, is one such place.

The L-shaped 2,000 sq-ft flagship space is divided into four zones – Cool Dream, Cool Day, Sir, Cool Bear and Cool Art. Each space is set-off by colours – not chosen at random, but representing a unique attitude and approach to life.

Lui opted for a small, clean entrance, because “an enclosed entrance would distinguish the shop from the other outlets, which tend to be more open”, he says. Upon entering the store, the ‘Cool Dream’ ambience fills the space. The colourful Pandora’s Box in this section embodies the soul of Cool Dream, which celebrates dreamers as well as a basic, young and friendly style.

White and bright green are used throughout Cool Dream: “White is like a blank piece of paper; anything can be happen on a white sheet – it is a metaphor for dream coming true.” Initially, Lui planned to create a floor out of grass, but this idea eventually gave way, for obvious practical reasons, to a green carpet.

A more sophisticated line of fine-cut handmade suits and shirts is showcased in Cool Day, Sir. Here, Lui’s multiple talents are even more on show – as well as designing the space, he oversees this fashion line. “I used dark brown to emphasise the refined style the line aims for, and to create a contrast with the bright colours of Cool Dream.”

‘Cool Bear’ makes itself known via an oversized chocolate bear right in the middle of the floor. Cool Bear, sporting a scar on his face, symbolises the contentment which can be found in the small things of everyday life. “When I design, I strongly rely on my instincts. After hearing the meaning the founders had given to Cool Bear, I immediately envisioned the colour of Buddhist robes for the space,” says Lui.

At Cool Art, Lui exercised his design instincts via a daring and somewhat unusual colour choice: magenta. “Art is something to share, like fashion. I related magenta with art because I think this colour appeals to both men and women.”

Lui centralised the colour all along the catwalk, extended to the cabinet. “By matching it with black, the solemnity of art is accentuated,” he says.t

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