« Make the right garment for the right people, wear the right clothes at the right moment. » – Sophie Hong
“SOPHIE HONG”, the notable designer and textile researcher, has invested herself in the development of the traditional “Mud Silk” technique since 1977. “HONG Silk”, named for her, is clothing of exceptional quality, exquisitely designed and handsomely produced. She upholds, with great respect, nature’s delicate ecosystem with regard to its application in the creation of wearable clothing. Ultimately, she has breathed new life into traditional silks forming a new fashion fusion between occidental and oriental cultures.
Among Sophie Hong’s artistic endeavours, one discovers vast drawings, sculptures, precious metal designs and furnishings of wood and bamboo…forming a diversified collection of fine art.
Sophie HONG opened her flagship boutique at Paris’ Palais-Royal in 2010 and subsequently that same year; she became manager of the “Le Pigeonnier” bookstore in Taipei.
By 2012 she was honoured with the presentation of the French merit award of “Chevalier”, delivered by France’s national order, in recognition of her performance to promote cultural exchanges between France and Taiwan.
Another tribute paid to Ms Hong in 2014, was the Golden Pin Design Award applauding her for her excellence and innovation in creating “HONG Silk”.
In 2015, Sophie Hong broaden her horizons with another new concept by opening the Sophie Hong Taichung Art Space; a venue combining fashion, French literature, art wares and other everyday aesthetics, including an art gallery.
Hidden away from the busy street of Hsin Yi Road in Taipei, we find a unique and tasteful building, giving out a vibe of exploration. Upon entering, we find ourselves in the “Sophie Hong Studio”, quite different from other clothing stores. Here, she promotes the “Sophie Hong” line, clothing based on her own fabric, “HONG Silk”.
With these unique silk fabric treatments, Sophie Hong leaped into the international fashion world. Using a melange of the traditional applied to the contemporary; one sees complex finishing and trim applied to sheer simplicity with added elegance. Not only do we see this in the cut and in the button detail but also in the fabric’s weaving treatment.
Her inspiration comes from life. Thus her emphasis on clothing is based on nature and comfort to offer a unique spin on fashion.
Françoise ‘Zyl’ Zylberberg, French professor and faculty member of National Taiwan University, founded le Pigeonnier in 1999. Over the three decades that she lived in Taiwan, until her death in 2010, she fervently reached out to the Taiwanese public conveying her love of French literature and culture. Her former associate and dear friend, the designer Li-Fen Sophie Hong, who is now at the head of Zyl’s project, is responsible for the continuation of her legacy.
Le Pigeonnier is the only francophone bookstore in Taipei that also serves as a publishing house and cultural center for events and activities. Le Pigeonnier extends itself to the public with reading workshops, lectures, concerts, and poetry readings. It also organizes artistic happenings and sponsors dance programs. All such activities are offered in a warm and friendly ambiance, providing a haven for authors and readers to meet where their passion for French culture and language can be shared.
The bookstore’s collection is currently comprised of about 16,000 titles, ranging from large oversize volumes to the more standard. An expansive variety is offered specializing in French and Chinese literature, Cuisine, Social Sciences, Art and Pop-up books. A selection of comics has been added for young and mature audiences while the music and cinematographic media has expanded. New additions to existing subjects are updated every two weeks. Because Le Pigeonnier is eager to help its customers with their requests, an ordering service is now in place without any additional charge.
To conclude, not only is Le Pigeonnier extremely important as a liaison between French and Taiwan culture it is also a very important participant and presence in Taipei’s annual International Book Exhibition (TIBE), where collaborations with the International Bureau of French Publishers (BIEF) and the French Bureau of Taipei (Bureau Français de Taipei) lead to amazing book sales, lectures, and book signing events featuring guest authors.
We all look forward to seeing you at Le Pigeonnier!