Creativity let loose


By JO TEH

Recycled materials were transformed into interesting attire for the Emerging Designers Competition.

THE Mercedes-Benz STYLO Emerging Designers Competition was introduced last year. It has since chalked up a number of successes and uncovered new talents.

In line with the global green initiative, the STYLO Fashion Grand Prix KL 2011 with its Emerging Designers Competition had the decadence of mankind translated into fashion collections using recycled and biodegradable paper and fabric. Themed Paper Dress, the event took centre stage on April 2 at the Chin Woo Stadium in Kuala Lumpur that was transformed into a “Scarlet Theatre”.

With designs and creations that were out of this world, this year’s theme saw not only a big leap in creativity but also a greater understanding of fashion and its evolvement.

“The designs and collections this year show a lot more thought and effort put into the entire concept. It was interesting to see how paper and biodegradable fabric were used in the making of these beautiful collections,” said STYLO president and chief executive officer Datuk Nancy Yeoh.

“Fashion and sustainability can indeed work well together. Through the collections, we hope to give more focus on sustainability in fashion. It’s important that the people realise that fashion is also a vital aspect of the green choices they make on an everyday basis,” said Yeoh.

With 12 finalists contending for the Emerging Designer of the Year 2011 award to be presented on the Mercedes-Benz STYLO Fashion Awards tomorrow night, this year’s selection has set a new benchmark for the participants.

The participating fashion design institutions were PJ College of Art & Design (PJCAD), Carven Academy of Fashion, UCSI University, AAVA Legenda, SML Academy, LimKokWing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) and Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA).

Four collections by students from the SML Academy were featured: Resurrection by Cheong Mun Keong; Lost But Found by Ellie Lim; In The Headlines by Lorenzo Peh; and Rebellious Harlequin by Xyuian Liau.

From PJCAD, Gerald Chia presented his I’m Home collection; Matilda Low offered The Rose Window; and Mohd Nizam showed the Structuristicture of Dou Gong.

Lai Hui Liang from Carven Academy of Fashion sashayed down the runway with his collection Fifth Mum while Lee Qiao Xin from LUCT presented the Mysterious Goth and Hallucination collection.

Also competing were Ryan Ng from AAVA (Radiolarian Skeleton collection), Vincent Leong from MIA (Gaudi Nouveau) and Yoo Ai Ling from UCSI (Seeking Hope).

Finalist Gerald Chia, 24, said his collection was inspired by a new perspective of specific trends and the development in furniture.

“I wanted to show people the importance of design in their lives. The design was not only meant to provoke astonishment, but also to challenge and question people’s habitual expectations, behaviour and review traditional fixtures,” said Chia, adding that he used his old books as materials.

His collection received generous applause from the crowd.

Another crowd favourite was Mohd Nizam’s Structuristicture that displayed an amazing Chinese-influenced temple dress.

“My design was inspired by the Chinese Dou Gong Brackets, the Great Wall of China, and Chinese historical buildings and their lovely architecture. My concept for the design was very structural, architectural and incorporated a 3D concept with a play of red, black and white,” said the 20-year-old student.

The competition was judged by Yeoh, designer Michael Ong and British India founder Pat Liew.

Presented by Mercedes-Benz, the STYLO Fashion Grand Prix KL 2011 is held from April 2 to 10 at Chin Woo Stadium in KL. The Ford Models Supermodel of the World Malaysia 2011 Finals will be held at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday. The Star is a media partner.

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