Artist of the Month-February-Lisa Frain

This month's AoM is Lisa Frain. We've been wanting to feature the designers and technicians of Hong Kong in the AoM series for a while; Lisa was nominated for her work as a costume designer in town. She's a super nice person and very hard working. You can see her work this month in P.S.- Your Cat is Dead! We look forward to seeing more of her work on the Hong Kong stage in the future!

1. Name, Birthplace, Age

Lisa Frain, Australia, 40

2. How does where you were raised affect your work?

I was raised in Sydney and I have my mother to thank for my creative flair and eye for detail.  I always loved to play “dress-ups” when I was young and encourage my 3 children to do the same.  I enjoy attending themed fancy dress events and over the years have accumulated my very own costume department right at home.  

3. Where did you train?

I was taught to sew when I was a young girl, but unfortunately was never offered the luxury of learning about fashion or costumes and moved onto other things.  In 2013 I started a Diploma in Fashion Design with Fashion Project by Fa Harrington and I hope to finish later this year.  

4. What is your favorite style of Costume? Why?

I honestly don’t have a favourite because I love them all.

5. What was the best show you EVER saw?
CATS – Australian Tent Tour 2000.

6. What was the best show in HK you EVER saw? (You cannot say your own)

Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Naiad Productions

7.What piece of work are you the most proud of?

The dress I designed and made for the adorable Aisling McDonnell.

8. What is your process like?

My process is still a work-in-progress but this is what I have learnt myself.  Costume design is part of the story telling, so I first read the script multiple times to get a good understanding of what the point and purpose of the play is. I then start to research everything about the period, especially the specific clothing details so I understand why the design choices were made during that time, (this is the part I really love). I research the physical characteristics. Once I feel I have a really good understanding of each character in the play, I decide on what look I want to see them in and create costume style sheets for each character using images I find on the internet. The next step is to go out and actually find the pieces for each costume and this could involve making, hiring or buying the pieces.  Finally after some minor adjustments it’s SHOWTIME!!!!!

9. What is your dream project?

There are many, but I can’t share this with you as they are all top secret.

10. If you could change one thing about the art scene in HK, what would it be?

For shows to be more like on Broadway and the West End.



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artist of the month


  • Helen M. Barker
    05 February 2014

    Great article Lisa and thanks for sharing with me.

    Good luck in your new production and hoping to get there to see it. Best wishes Helen
  • Errin
    05 February 2014

    Why did she say her own work on question 6? Can she not think of one show she liked other than her own?
  • Ming
    05 February 2014

    LOL. Maybe she misunderstood the question.

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