PETALING JAYA: They were creative and original –but also kept their feet close to the ground. It was the combination of practicality and vision that gave the 10 contestants for the inaugural Star Designer Awards an edge in the preliminary selection.
The panel of judges - comprising designers Melinda Looi, Bill Keith, Rizalman, Edmund Ser and Metrojaya Bhd senior merchandising manager Paul Cheung - spent a day last week going through the entries before choosing the 10 finalists from the eligible 220 entries.
The finalists were chosen based on criteria that called for designs of commercial potential and creative sense.
The chosen 10 are: Mohd Jasmi Mohd Rejab, 26, Nadeane Che Mohd Salleh, 23, Lorraine Chow Kar Lai, 19, Lee Hong Kon, 25, Jamie Wong Mei Toh, 24, Lee Chee Wen, 21, Marisol Carolina Acchiardo, 26, Titing Limbos Ng, 20, Margus Yap Keng Keong, 21 and Chai Yu Mei, 21.
The high standard of professionalism from the contestants made the selection of finalists a hard decision for the judges. “Although many of the contestants showed potential, the finalists stood out as their designs were consistent and practical, resulting in end products which would be wearable,” said Ser.
Cheung said the judges looked for entries that were presented well.
“Design is about communication,” he said. “The finalists managed to communicate their designs well.”
Those who did not make it to the finals should take heart.
“It does not mean that the entries are not good. We followed the criteria set by the contest organisers which emphasised commercial viability,” said Keith.
The designs also had to be in step with world fashion trends and suited to Malaysian tastes. Contestants had to name each design and give a design rationale.
Looi commented that the designers tried to adapt current fashions to come up with something original. “They were good at modifying fabrics to make the designs seem new.”
Rizalman noted that many of the designs reflected current issues, an indication that designers are attuned to world events. “With all the talk of war, some designs used lots of green and camouflage colours,” he revealed.
Star Designer Awards 2003 is aimed at recognising young talents in the Malaysian fashion scene.
The contestants were required to present a set of five designs based on the theme “City Days, City Nights” – casual wear, sports wear, office wear, evening wear and an avant garde piece.
These designs will be made into garments for the final judging on April 27.
The contest is held in conjunction with KL Fashion Week 2003.
The first prize winner will be awarded a cash prize of RM5,000, a certificate and a trophy. The second prize winner will receive a cash prize of RM 3,000, a certificate and a trophy. A cash prize of RM1,000, a certificate and a trophy will be given to the third prize winner. There will also be seven consolation prizes of RM300 each.