Rising young designers win awards for standout collections at MDIS Graduate Fashion Show 2019

Nur Ili Bte Norazip and her 'Fractals' collection. (PHOTO: MDIS)

SINGAPORE — The Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) recently organised a Graduate Fashion Show 2019, featuring works by ten young designers based on the theme ‘Singularity’.

A number of awards were also given out during the show. The graduates’ works were rated by a panel of judges including Fabio Panzeri, Creative Director of Braun Buffel.

Lecturer Kee Ai Wei, Aven was proud of her students’ achievements: “The students pushed boundaries and went beyond what they thought they could achieve. Comments from the panel of judges who were industry veterans were very positive. They gave our graduates the confidence that their designs showed immense potential. In fact, there is already an interested label from Shanghai that is keen to buy some of these designs.”

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The winner of the Best Academic Award was given to Nur Ili Binte Norazip, who presented ‘Fractals’, a collection inspired by the Shah Mosque in Iran. She hopes to open up more meaningful conversations about the concept of modesty and the lacking representation of Muslim women in fast fashion through her works. She explained, “I aim to challenge stereotypes and show possibilities in modest fashion. I hope this collection can contribute to getting more people to think about greater inclusivity and diversity in fashion.”

Genesis by Ng Pei Shi Amanda. (PHOTO: MDIS)

Another fashion graduate, Ng Pei Shi Amanda, took home the Best Collection Award for demonstrating excellence in originality, workmanship and techniques used with ‘Genesis’. Inspired by the most primitive art form of cave paintings of Chauvet in southern France, the collection is a contemporary interpretation of the hand painted prints and shadowing in Palaeolithic cave art. Amanda incorporated the concept of sustainable fashion through the intentional layering of scrap fabrics and yarn in her design to mirror the life of prehistoric humans who used basic materials they saw or possessed.

“This collection was one year in the making. The purpose of my design is two-fold: raising awareness for sustainable fashion by giving scrap materials a new lease of life and discovering the depth of historical art. I’m proud of my work but I must say the other designers’ collections are really impressive!” said Amanda.

'Nascondere' by Phan My Linh, Vietnam. (PHOTO: MDIS)

While Nur Ili Binte Norazip’s ‘Fractals’ showed that modest clothing can be fashion-forward and interesting, Phan My Linh’s ‘Nascondere’ collection stood out for me for her theatrical styling of using pearls and textural fabrics to form a homage to akin a ‘Venice masquerade’. It’s her use of embellishments without being too OTT and the richly decorative woven fabrics that makes her designs runway-catchy.

Meghna Sharma’s 'Shakti' collection. (PHOTO: MDIS)

Meghna Sharma, who is Indonesian with Indian descent, features beautiful traditional fabrics showcasing an ethnic feel but with a modern twist.

'Conqueer, Conqueered' by Choo Jian Hao Eugene. (PHOTO: MDIS)

Choo Jian Hao Eugene’s ‘Conqueer, Conqueered’ collection celebrates the LGBT community in a fun and quirky way, in an almost modern interpretation of a grown-up Hello Kitty prancing in the busy streets of Harajuku. Cute, fun, but not sexy sassy.

'Geo' by Chua Cheng Fang Caroline. (PHOTO: MDIS)

Caroline Chua Cheng Fang’s collection is heavily inspired by Lyubov Popova, a Russian Avant Garde artist who is influenced by Cubism. We’d expected a larger-than-life interpretation, or even a bolder overlap of geometric shapes and contrasting colours to wow us, but it was amiss. A little more versatility using items like recycled PVC, leather, to create ribbon folds or even the use of silk organza can create a more 3D-like shape or dimension to the collection.

Poetic Blue by Hugo Wang Minchao. (PHOTO: MDIS)

Hugo’s collection aims to reinterpret Japanese-inspired aesthetic into a contemporary language through the eyes of a foreigner. While he attempts to showcase the usage of folds (think Yohji Yamamoto’s elegant folds that trail along you) it doesn’t quite come across here. We’d like to see functional pockets that appear unconventional to even a dress that can be tied into a skirt.

Kudos to all winners!

Winners’ list:

Best Academic Award - Nur Ili Binte Norazip

Best Collection Award - Ng Pei Shi Amanda

Best Styling Award - Phan My Linh for ‘Nascondere’

Special Avant Garde Award - Garalde Kate Ashley Rayos for ‘Endless Monochrome’

Voters’ Choice Award - Phan My Linh for ‘Nascondere’