(only available in Chinese)
Patrick Ho has been in the fashion design industry for 19 years and he worked in mainland China and Macau for 13 years. Patrick Ho opened his own fashion store and served as the design director of a brand. The awards in the cabinet are affirmations of Patrick’s achievement, the one he is the proudest of is winning Australia’s the Designer of the Year Award. Designing costumes for celebrities and becoming associated with the entertainment industry, Patrick introduces to us clothing he designed piece by piece: Fish Leong’s concert dress, which is Patrick’s unforgettable Hong Kong Coliseum show so far; the outfit for mainland singer Sun Nan to attend the popular show ‘I am a singer’; the cheongsam designed for the Macau female singer Chita Yu to attend the CCTV New Year’s Gala, Patrick describes it as ‘the piece that was seen by the largest amount of people’.
In the glamourous days of fashion designing, Patrick went to meet guests all over the world. He was also a judge of design competitions. He was happy to collaborate and take photos with legendary figures in the design industry. He was also fortunate to meet a group of friends in the entertainment industry. He was a guest lecturer in Macau and eventually owned his TV show and became a host for more than a year. Patrick says, ‘the happiest thing about fashion design is that I can design wedding dresses for my good friends. In family events (such as weddings), I would design clothes for each family member, making the banquet a mini fashion show!’
Speaking of his family, it was also the main reason Patrick finished his work in Mainland China and returned to Hong Kong. Once his mother fell ill, it took Patrick four hours to return to Hong Kong, which made him realize that he worked hard in the past but also missed a lot of time with his family. After returning to Hong Kong in May last year, Patrick intended to continue his design career, and he signed a contract with two entertainment agencies to develop his career as a television shows host. However, things do not often go as expected. The pandemic has been a great blow to the entertainment industry. There is no show, no wedding, no concert. Whether it is fashion design or hosting, the entire industry has come to a halt.
At this moment, in front of the camera at GenuineCafe, Patrick takes off his pink glasses and a fashionable coat. Wearing a take-out uniform, he laughs and says, ‘taking off all the things from the past, this is who I am now.’
It turns out that Patrick has served as a food delivery person for his livelihood during the pandemic, and later he has become a courier. Taking a flexible temporary job like this is because Patrick wants to return to his old business. Temporary work also allows Patrick to experience more things. He has found that the urban area has paradise-like country parks. Patrick laments that he had been rushing around for the past 13 years, ignoring the beautiful things around him, and he missed out on Hong Kong. He used to stay up late at night and rarely did sports. Now delivering goods everywhere helps him to lose weight. In addition to food delivery, Patrick is also the host of a live app show which is on three nights a week.
After Patrick returning to Hong Kong, there were many twists and turns. The host at GenuineCafe asks Patrick his unforgettable moments. Patrick says that he has a lot of time to spend with his family, an aspect he has ignored before. Any time he wants to have dinner with his mother, with a simple phone call, he can meet her the day after. Patrick cherishes such a moment. Also, there was one time when Patrick's online programme ranked very high, and many people he didn't know supported him. He laughs and says that he was so moved that he cried.
He used to ‘charge into battles’. When he woke up in a hotel, he often didn’t know where he was and he had to post memos on the nightstand to remind himself. Although he does not have that glamorous lifestyle now, he knows where he is when he gets up every day. Living a middle-class life, having the supports of his family, not having the pressure to feed a family, it has been comfortable. Patrick concludes that during this time, ‘the greatest gain is being able to be with my family; even if it is miserable outside, I think I can experience life in another way, and at the same time I have the space to explore myself.’
What has the experience of falling to the bottom inspired him for the future? Patrick says, ‘now that I have experienced this kind of life, I will be bolder and I hope to stick to my own style more in design, such as breaking the habitual thinking and not designing completely according to gender, and making shirts with new materials.’ Patrick has tried to make shirts with glass glue and paper before; he was grateful that Macau singers were willing to try these innovative ideas. He likes to draw inspirations from everyday life, such as making shirts with wallpaper and put flying chess on his clothes. Patrick says he is ‘a bit off’.
The host of GenuineCafe expresses that he feels that Patrick still has the energy to continue designing, and at the same time cherishes his family. How does Patrick face the pull of these two powerful forces? ‘My birthday is tomorrow, I am a Leo. I value personal relationships very much. People in my family treat me very well, and my family supports me very much. Whether I had a show or opened a store, my family always came to support me. I do the web show to connect with my family. They are there every night when I do a show, my sister from Australia, my friends in Japan and the UK listen. Interpersonal relationships are very important to me. Fish Leong’s big show I did, the accessories were made by my cousin and the metal accessories were made by my father. My family did it together. Once I took a New Year job at Elements (a shopping mall) and needed to make a float. My cousin, mother, aunt, and even my neighbours and classmates all came to help. I was very happy and enjoyed it.’
It turns out that the source of Patrick's ‘craziness’ is his family. I wish Patrick, with the unlimited company and support of his family, give full play in the future, whether he is designing clothes or hosting shows, he will do even better.
Written by: Lau Kim Ling
Original story in Chinese, English translation by: Daniel Leung & Sharon Huang