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Harper’s BAZAAR Asia New Generation Fashion Designer Award Show | Review

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Lumbering down in uncomfortable heels and a leather skirt to Audi Fashion Festival alongside my dapper photographer friend to attend the inaugural Harper’s BAZAAR Asia New Generation Fashion Designer Award show last Saturday, I did not know what to expect from the show. Stepping into the tent with an open mind, I was blown away by the colossal amount of talent we have here in Asia.

Harper’s BAZAAR recognizes the importance of setting a right platform for designers-to-be to showcase their talents and providing them with the opportunity to market their creative flair on a regional and global scale. Thus, the Harper’s BAZAAR Asia New Generation Fashion Designer Award seeks to encourage aspiring fashion designers to unveil their fashion designing finesse to the world.

 

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This year, the award show exhibited the works of 8 finalists from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Hailing from Malaysia, Harvee Kok carried the day with his collection entitled “Bipolarity”, emerging as 2013’s winner in spite of discernably tough competition. Inspired by “Go”, a strategic board game for two, which originates from China more than 2,500 years ago, Kok’s collection reflected the many elements of Eastern philosophy, similar to the Yin & Yang theory, with the colour combination of the Yin & Yang symbol dominating the show. The models graced the runway in sensuous yet sophisticated silhouettes, flaunting the clever use of juxtaposing textures, subtle accents and sharp tailoring.

 

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My personal favourite was the collection of Thailand’s Jatupong Metula. Inspired by the history of the upper province in Thailand, Metula’s “The Whispering” illustrated perfectly how traditional Thai elements can be seamlessly combined into modern wear. I was left enthralled. As I wasn’t given the best seats to be able to read the subtitles to his inspiration for this collection flashed on the bottom of the screen during the show, I knew I had to meet him personally to find out the insights to this work of art.

I was fortunate enough to be able to meet him at the Harper’s BAZAAR private meet-and-greet tea session later in the day. “”The Whispering” came about when I was visiting the Nan province in Thailand. Amazed by the local weaving patterns, I mixed them with modern design, interpreting Thai textiles in an innovative way, “ was the reply through a picture in his iPad due to a slight communication barrier. The series of elegant dresses embellished with intricate detailing displaying his artisanal workmanship, along with long, caped jackets are what made up Metula’s noteworthy collection.

 

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Not forgetting our local pride and glory, Teresa Lim and Yahn Adam did an outstanding job in making Singapore a country to watch out for, in terms of fashion design. Lim’s hanker for gender norms in Singapore to be challenged resulted in an upbeat and feisty show that was all about bright colours and loud prints. Using pinup girls from the 1940s and artworks as inspirations, “Lenina Gone Wild” consisted of tailored suits, dresses, tops, outwears and tights covered in flashy prints and unique drawings of her own.

Adam on the other hand, wowed us with experimental punkish street wear in light of his instable state of mind whilst admitted in the hospital recently. Titled “My Asylum”, his paranoia and thoughts of anxiety and fear came to life as models strutted down the runway in respirators, black military boots, hand-dyed plastic apparel and distressed jeans. It was truly inspiring to watch his show because it proves to everyone that even without a formal education in fashion, Adam was able to leave the crowd awestruck with his incredible work. If that was not riveting, I do not know what is!

 

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It was indeed an afternoon to remember as we witnessed the fulfillment of dreams of these budding fashion designers embarking on their own journeys towards a successful career in the fashion world.

 

 

Would you like to have your fashion design aspirations actualised too? The search is back on again for the next big designer! If you’re passionate about creating your own designs and would like to have an international presence, Harper’s BAZAAR Asia New Generation Fashion Designer Award will aid you in attaining your design dreams!

Applications are now open and the closing date for entries is 15 August 2014.
For more information, please visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/harpersbazaarsingapore/app_125421860992392

 

 

Text by: Gilda Lim
Images by: Eugene Siow

 

 

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