This site is best experienced in portrait mode. Please rotate your device.
Feng shui designer Thierry Chow relaxes at her home studio with her two dogs.
Exploring the intersection of feng shui and fashion, Thierry Chow explains how she achieves harmony in her personal style.
With her eclectic style and edgy, forward-looking approach to feng shui, Thierry Chow is far from your typical geomancy expert. But that’s exactly how the young Hongkonger – daughter of revered master Chow Hon-Ming – has made her name in the centuries-old discipline.
Since first delving into the world of feng shui about eight years ago, Chow has been modernising the practice by applying its principles to everything from home décor to everyday outfits, romance and dating. With an open-minded approach, Chow helps her clients find harmony through design, fashion and healthy lifestyle choices.
We caught up with Chow to discuss modern feng shui, the latest sartorial trends and her new lifestyle brand, launching this fall.
So what exactly is feng shui?
Thierry Chow: Feng shui is about the relationship between people and the environment, and how it affects our mental and physical wellbeing. It’s about becoming aware of the meaning of objects in relation to our lives – clothes included.
How did you get into it?
TC: Growing up, the discipline was actually the last thing on my mind. I wasn’t at all interested in it, despite my dad being a feng shui master. I thought of it as dated superstitious nonsense. My true passion as a child and, later, a teenager, was in arts and design, which is why I eventually moved to Canada to study fine arts at university.
It wasn’t till I returned to Hong Kong that things changed. I began working a few jobs, but just wasn’t happy. I felt lost, wondering what I was doing with my life. That’s when I started looking at feng shui with new eyes. I realised that I could channel my creativity into the practice, and apply its principles in my own way. That’s when I asked my father to teach me the ropes.
What did you discover along the way?
TC: I started apprenticing under my father eight years ago, following him to client meetings and observing him on the job. I had no idea what to expect, but the more I learned, the more I discovered the wisdom of its core principles. Slowly, I began looking at how I could apply them to the modern world, and keeping the tradition alive and relevant in the 21st century.
Integrating the discipline with design and contemporary touches and aesthetics seemed like the most obvious way to achieve that. Then I realised fashion also has a strong relationship with feng shui.
Normally, we think of feng shui in relation to a person's environment. So how does feng shui relate to fashion?
TC: Just like our surroundings, the clothes we wear can evoke emotions and make us feel a certain way. And just like any other object, garments fall into the five elements of Chinese astrology: metal, wood, water, fire and earth.
With my feng shui practice, I use clients’ birth charts to see which of these categories are imbalanced, and then recommend colours, patterns and shapes that best create harmony for them. It’s all about picking outfits that can channel your positive energy, and in turn help you spread it to the world.
What are three must-have pieces that boost your positive energy?
TC: For me, it’s definitely my kimonos – some are vintage, some are from Japan, some have been with me forever. I love the ‘vibe’ they give me. I generally favour bright colours and patterns, and they all tick these boxes perfectly.
Next, I’d say my sunglasses. I have quite bad eyesight, so glasses are a must. My sunnies are no exception. They are prescription from a Japanese brand called Kaneko Optical, and the retro circular shape really matches my style. Lastly, my MAC lipstick – my favourite shade is called Smokey Purple. I wear it every day and I simply feel more complete with it. It’s almost like it’s a piece of me.
How would you describe your personal style?
TC: Quirky, fun, colourful and electric. I really enjoy mixing bold hues – I think it speaks to who I am on the inside. I am a huge vintage enthusiast, so I love browsing second-hand shops in search of one-of-a-kind outfits and accessories. Besides vintage, I like Emilio Pucci, MSGM, LOEWE, Marni and Diane von Furstenberg for their bold palettes and vibrant patterns.
Does feng shui relate to this season’s fashion trends at all?
TC: It absolutely does. The earth element dominates 2019, and it’s very visible in fashion, both through colours – the predominance of yellows, beiges, greys – and shapes, which are a little more geometric. Take the revival of the square toe heel, for instance, or the boxy shoulder we’ve seen on a few catwalks. It all goes back to feng shui principles.
We heard you’re working on a new furniture and jewellery brand. Could you tell us more?
TC: That’s right. This fall I am going to launch my own lifestyle website and brand, called Thierry Go Lucky. The site is going to have feng shui-based tips and blog-style articles on how to make the discipline work for you. It’s also going to be an e-shop, first for my homeware collection – also slated for fall – and, early next year, a jewellery line. I am working alongside designers to develop products that respect the heritage of the discipline but feel and look modern.
Download the LANDMARK HONGKONG app to discover fashion and homeware pieces that strike a perfect balance: