Attended the second day of the 8th Mercedes-Benz STYLO Fashion Grand Prix 2015 on 26 March 2015 which featured presentations by young, upcoming designers from various leading fashion schools in Malaysia. This was the first time that the Mercedes-Benz STYLO 2015 Fashion Grand Prix Emerging Designers Competition was a stand-alone show at the STYLO Fashion Grand Prix.
The MBSTYLOFGP 2015 Emerging Designers Competition saw the submission of over 100 entries, with only the 12 best participants shortlisted to enter the semi-finals in a tough selection process. The night was specially to showcase each of the finalists’ personal interpretation of this year’s theme, “Fashion Anarchy” and I must say that some pretty unorthodox designs ensued.
The Emerging Designers 2015 semifinals included a showcase of three (3) outfits by each of these budding designers following the theme “Fashion Anarchy”:
- “Metal Armour” by Arun Chee of City University
- “L.G.B.T” by Lim Yee Hooi
- “Inner Strength” by Heah Hui Xuan of Equator College, Penang
- “Hunger” by Vinnie Lie of Lim Kok Wing University College
- Mohd Shafiq Md Karlan of Lim Kok Wing University College highlighted dark silhouettes through avant-garde designs
- Muhammad Aizat of Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University (KLMU) raised the issue of civil liberties and human torture in his showcase
- Yam Yih Hui of Saito created wonderful optical illusions through the art of distortion.
- Ungku Alyssa of SMU’s designs were inspired by Japanese samurai armour as she crafted wearable art from rubber tyres and polyurethane fabrics.
- Felix of SML created dramatic and elegant designs inspired by a riot scene and Adele’s hit single, “SkyFall”
- Nur Syahira of SMU played with the contrasting elements of yin and yang in her collection
- Michelle Chia of INTI University College sought fashion inspiration through dinosaur fossils
- Zoe Fang of SML used varying intricate weaving patterns of the Macrame knot to portray her concept, “Insurgent”.
The night also saw a special showcase by last year’s winner Yona Yuliani Hutari and runner-up Wee Su Gee, who presented a collection featuring a mixture of colours and prints.
The judges for the night were Datuk Nancy Yeoh (President & CEO of STYLO International), Mr Roland Folger (President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia), Ms Aureen Jean Nonis (Director of Llifestyle Section, Matrade), Mr. Izwan Zainuddin (Chief Investment Officer of MyCreative Ventures), Datin Hjh Sabrina Laila (Head of Encorp Strand Mall), Datin Winnie Loo (Founder and Chief Creative Director A Cut Above Group of Salons & Academy), Bon Zainal (reigning MBSTYLOFGP Designer of the Year & Vice President of the Bumiputera Designers Association) and Ms Judy Raine (wife of Mark Raine, VP Sales & Marketing Mercedes-Benz Malaysia)
The competition has produced some young, creative designers since its inception in 2010,, and past winners have had the opportunity to travel the world with Mercedes-Benz Malaysia‘s World Fashion Exchange with STYLO during its 125th Anniversary 3 years ago, which resulted in the winners winning a showcase at the fashion weeks in Mexico City and Prague.
Since 2013, Mercedes-Benz and STYLO International previewed the first Mercedes-Benz STYLO Asian Fashion Week (MBSAFW) to showcase designers from Malaysia and Asia where the top 3 winners of the Emerging Designers Competition earned a spot to showcase their designs. The MBSTYLOAFW was initiated to allow Asian and local designers with exceptional talent to debut their collection on a larger, cohesive platform. Since then, the MBSTYLOAFW has grown to form the Malaysia Fashion Week which marked its debut in 2014 as a national and international B2B trade event.
Mr Roland Folger quoted, “Mercedes-Benz as a purveyor of fashion has always encouraged and nurtured young talents. This competition acts as a springboard for the most promising of design hopefuls. We are happy to continue to cultivate these young designers, who have the potential to be on par with international designers around the world.”
Datuk Nancy Yeoh added, “We, Malaysians are big on talent. Every year, I am amazed by the irrepressible passion and depth of creativity among our young emerging designers. Since we began this annual search some 4 years ago, the competition has leapfrogged to be one of the most anticipated events with fashion design schools across the country,”
The winners of this year’s competition were announced during the Gala Night at MBSTYLOFGP 2015 winning prize money by MyCreative Ventures (a government investment arm to spur Malaysia’s creative industry) and a platform to create and showcase their first collection at the Malaysia Fashion Week 2015 later this year.
Photo credits: Andy Kho Photography (www.andykho.com) and author’s own