Ranee Kok graduated from Parsons School of Design, New York and later interned at Donna Karen. In 2012, she recieved her Master of Science in Conservation from The University of Hong Kong. In 2014, Kok continued her studies at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), focusing on the intriguing relationship between fine art and fashion.
Kok first launched her own fashion label ‘ranee_k’ in New York in 2000. She has won numerous internationally acclaimed awards in the field of fashion and design, including ‘Ten Outstanding Designers Award’ by Hong Kong Communication Art Centre and ‘40 Under 40 Award’ by Perspective Magazine. She incorporates art, design and fashion in various community projects that focus on the sustainability and socio-environmental issues in fashion. She believes that art and education are the essential tools to arouse our awareness towards many issues in the world and their impact on future generations.
I believe that the transformative elements are about the beauty of harmony, the beauty of within and surface, the beauty of spontaneity, and the beauty of renewal. The transcendence of this piece from ‘Closet to Corset’ to ‘Beyond the Corset’ realizes a kind of transformation from inside out, from tradition to intimacy, and from convention to boundless potential. It is about finding balance and beauty between formality, intimacy, playfulness and spontaneity.
I got inspirations from the stereotype that Chinese women are often viewed as ‘demure and introverted’, yet I think women nowadays are equal to men in many ways and still retain their elegance and femininity. I designed a close-fitting corset on the outside of the cheongsam to represent that our society should respect and appreciate inner feelings and qualities of female, yet unfortunately there are still oppression and discrimination against women in many places around the world.
The splashing of colours in the prints is an action of spontaneity, in contrast to the elaborate tailoring and traditional making of cheongsam. It manifests that females should seek and be given the opportunities to express themselves and their potential. By acknowledging and confronting the historically and societally imposed female role, we support the facilitation and transition of female status. Only if all members of the society can appreciate various voices of others, issues of difference can be addressed with harmony and respect.