YDC 2014 Identifies New Force in the Design Realm
Véronique Leroy Invited as VIP Judge
The Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest 2014 (YDC) semi-final hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) was held on 16 December. Sixteen finalists of young designers went all out to present their creative work to judges and explain the creative concept and inspiration behind their masterpieces. The YDC final will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 14 January 2014, when the 16 designers will compete for three awards, namely “Contemporary Day-wear Group Winner”, “Party & Evening-wear Group Winner” and the “Overall Winner.”
Paris designer Véronique Leroy is cordially invited to be the VIP Judge for this year’s YDC. She will come to Hong Kong to attend the final and exchange her invaluable views and creative concepts with the finalists. Véronique Leroy worked with tailor-made clothing and footwear designer, Azzedine Alaïa, and eminent master class designer, Martine Sitbon. Véronique created her own brand and engraved her code in 1991. From 2004 to 2011, she was consultant stylist in maison Léonard. Since 2010, she has also been working for the nomadic/urban/luxury designer brand MUS. Véronique develops a singular construction for the garment: slight intervals, subtle fragilities in the equilibrium, a semblance of morphological unevenness. Her volumes, structured and refined, stuck out and breathing, lead to freedom of the body and dynamism. Her signature stems from this energising neo- classical conception that rejects “decorative” purposes, subterraneously nourished by a Couture touch. Ocher, oxidized gold, faux-black and blue-black become emblems. Her brand is carried by a high-end selection of multi-brand shops all over the world, such as Le Bon Marché in Paris, Quartier 206 in Berlin, D-Mop in Hong Kong, Beams in Tokyo and Opening Ceremony in New York.
A Strong Judging Panel
In addition to the VIP Judge Véronique Leroy, this year’s YDC has also invited senior representatives of the industry and the media as well as local designers to be the panel members, presenting a strong judging panel. Headed by the chief judge, The Hon. Shirley Chan, Chairman of HKTDC Garment Advisory Committee, other panel members include Gaku Mizoguchi, representative from Parco Co Ltd in Japan, local designer Johanna Ho; K.K. Yip, Director of Creative & Business Development, D-mop; Dee Poon, Chief Executive Officer of China Retail, Esquel Enterprises Ltd., and Edith Cheung, Director of Textile Division, Jin Ze Arts Centre. Their judging criteria are based on the creativity and originality, marketability, workmanship, suitability, the use of fabrics, and the overall appeal of the finalists’ work for selection of the final winners.
Dee Poon, Chief Executive Officer of China Retail, Esquel Enterprises Ltd. said that each contestant’s fashion series is unique and extraordinary, which has given an eye-opening experience to all the judges. She mentioned that a small number of the entries seemed to be produced just in time for the semi-final. Designers need to grasp the days before the final to do all the finishing works for the flaws.
K.K. Yip, Director of Creative & Business Development, D-mop said the level of creativity of this year’s contestants is quite high. He pointed out that they have got some time before the final and some of their works have room for improvement. In view of the experience of these young designers, however, they were fairly well prepared.
Participants Received Valuable Practical Experience
Most of the shortlisted designers are graduates of design schools and young working designers. They view the contest as a platform to allow them to test their strength, widen their horizons, and be able to present individual’s style and innovative concept in their pieces of work.
In “Contemporary Day-wear Group,” Matthew Chan’s series is named as “Simple is Complicated?” Through the competition, Matthew hopes to explore the common areas between structuralism and the buildings of Wah Fu Estate. The interlocking staircases and the mosaic pattern and wall in the Estate have become his fashion’s colorful collages. Matthew participates in the YDC for the second time this year. Although he did not win last year, he said, his works gained a lot of exposure and attracted many singers’ stylists to borrow his costumes.
In “Party & Evening-wear Group,” Chloe Sung themed her series as “A World of Ice and Snow.” Inspired by a documentary about glacier, Chloe makes her design blueprint based on various shapes of ice. Her evening-wear is designed with overlapping layers of blue and white translucent tulle to exhibit the sense of ice and water interlaced together. Chloe is this year’s graduate and currently is a design assistant to designer Walter Ma. She thinks that the contest has provided an opportunity to test her strength. It was her first time to finish four sets of evening-wear and accessories in one go. She hopes that her pieces of work will gain recognition.
On the day of the YDC final (14 January), the 16 finalists will compete on stage again. Apart from that, attendees will also enjoy watching 4 past YDC winners’ latest pieces in the evening finale. These designers, namely Elizabeth Lin, Mim Mak, Eva Cheng and Wal Kong, have already established their own personal brands.
Hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the YDC has been identifying and nurturing local design talents over the past years. To further promote Hong Kong young fashion designers to overseas markets, the HKTDC launched FASHIONALLY.com in early 2012, offering the local fashion industry a unique online networking platform. The portal facilitates global connections, inspirations and information sharing.