YDC 2018: Rising stars steal the limelight
Represented by Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
The Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest 2018 came to a spectacular close on 8September, in a celebration of youthful talent, diversity and alternative visions.
Led by VIP judge designer Martine Rose, who flew in from the UK for the event, the panel of judges – comprised of renowned industry personalities – had a difficult decision to make, given the level of talent on display. Out of 16 finalists, four winners were eventually chosen to receive five awards, but the experience itself was rewarding for all.
The finalists presented drastically different aesthetics and design visions, with youthful fearlessness the only common thread. There were plenty of experimentations on fabrics, deconstructive cutting and sewing and knitting techniques, resulting in 16 collections difficult to typecast.
Champion: Leo Chan
Chan’s menswear collection aims to revive the spirit of the German movement ‘Wandervögel’, which embraces nature and freedom as an antidote to hectic city life.The black and green colour scheme reflects the great outdoors, nature and the unknown. His outerwear really stole the show, with stylish looks for day trips and excursions.
Chan’s focus on functional techwear led him to create a jacket that doubles as a one-man tent in his collection. The use of checkered flannel shirts for an outdoor ensemble is an unexpected stylish touch that adds to the versatility of the collection.
As champion, Chan won an internship with Martine Rose, an internationally renowned UK menswear brand.
First runner-up: Bicy Yip
At first glance it almost looks like Yip is making a political statement. But she is in fact exploring a different dilemma in her collection: Is science taking genetic modification too far? She mixes colours and shapes in a way that challenges the norm to make her point, resulting in pieces that have a bizarre, Frankenstein-like quality, such as a cape with a singular sleeve attached to a sweater designed to be worn upside down, and a knitted top held together with straps.
It is clear that she is trying to push the boundaries of knitwear. The fabrication, such as tubular jacquard with inlay stitch or embroidery, is inspired by human cells. The eye-popping palette of sharp neon–lime, marigold and poppy red–seem to send out warning signals.
Yip’s first runner-up prize includes a study trip abroad.
Second runner-up and Best Footwear Design Award: Charlotte Ng
Ng presents a visual simulation of UK rock band Radiohead’s song “Everything in its Right Place”. By converting the track into sound waves, she works the lines and curves into her womenswear collection.
The silky-smooth fabric “grooves” freely, punctuated by the sturdy, double-faced wool to symbolise bold electronic beats. Each piece has a meticulously clean finish, with techniques from laser cut to hand stitching denoting perfect precision.
Ng serves up the collection with the same sentiment as Radiohead’s decade-old song: “It is perfect, it is everything!”
She matches this British rock-inspired ensemble with a pair of pointy ankle leather boots that earned the Best Footwear Design Award, which enabled her to launch a commercial capsule collection with i.tapparels Ltd. As second runner-up, she has also won an internship with CLOT Company Ltd.
New Talent Award: Yeung Shun Leong
A spin-off of Nietzsche’s concept of “will to power”, Yeung’s menswear collection manifests this in the literal sense of “combat” with designs that simultaneously empower and protect. The result is a visually powerful collection in burgundy, white and grey.
Elements from different martial arts merge to create the ultimate combat gear, with jackets in oversized silhouettes – some with high necks pad and tie belts – referencing judo, fencing and boxing wear. The underarm panels in particular allow for great flexibility and movement. The designs are made more durable and robust with stone washing and waxing.
As recipient of the New Talent Award, Yeung will be developing a commercial collection in collaboration with JOYCE, which will be for sale at the renowned retailer.