The Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC) 2017 awards ceremony took place on 9 September, with Arto Wong named Champion. She received a cash prize and a study trip overseas sponsored by Sun Hing Knitting Factory Ltd. The winners of YDC 2017 are:
Champion and New Talent Award: Arto Wong: “Zero to unlimited”
First Runner-up: Sonic Lam: “Barren Land”
Second Runner-up: Wilson Choi: “The Stolen Soul”
Best Footwear Design Award: Jason Lee: “Kingdom of the Underground”
Inspired by the immense possibilities of transforming molecules to matter, Arto Wong’s design sought to play with weight and proportion. The overall YDC champion and winner of the New Talent Award said that it was a challenge finding time to finish the outfits being a full-time designer. Apart from time-management challenges, she encountered difficulties in trying to create volume, weight and the bounce effect for the ruffles in her knitwear collection, eventually succeeding after trying numerous techniques. The experience, Ms Wong said, has inspired her to continue exploring the infinite possibilities of knitwear.
Sonic Lam, the first runner-up of this year’s YDC, said that the YDC is a competition that every Hong Kong fashion design student aspires to take part, and was delighted to have won the award on his first try, saying, “I participated in this year’s YDC as a motivation to get out of the rut I was in after working full-time for three years post-graduation. I look forward to the study trip abroad in Australia to get out of Hong Kong and explore the world, to experience and adapt to foreign cultures, and incorporate these learnings into improving who we are,” Mr Lam added that he would eventually like to start his own brand after the study trip, adding that he was ready for the challenge of the endeavor.
The second runner-up Wilson Choi's collection is collegiate apparel with a rebellious undertone. The 50s Swedish movie Ondskan compelled him to examine the subversive bullying culture plaguing schools and society. The maroon brushstroke stripes introduce a sense of defiance, resembling graffiti-like street art. The sportswear-inspired pieces incorporate bonding and seamless techniques on wool; affixing a number of pockets to enhance the designs’ practicality and functionality.
Best Footwear Design Award winner Jason Lee is awarded a cash prize and mentorship offered by I.T Apparels Ltd. to develop a capsule collection to be sold at selected shops under i.t group. His unisex collection of loose-fit outwear and bottoms is accented with flannel and denim elements, which also feature the modern techniques of 3D printing and digital printing.
YDC 2017 invited Mug, founder and designer for the popular Japanese fashion brand G.V.G.V., to be the VIP judge. Mug praised the overall performance of YDC designers and said that each contestant should strive to express their own style through designs that are true to themselves. She praised the winning knit collection, which she said showcased originality, personal style and market value, noting that Arto Wong will go on to have a flourishing design career. Mug encouraged designers to remain focused, noting that while marketability was important, designers should not easily be influenced by trends, nor should they find ways to adapt their works to the trends.Apart from the VIP judge MUG, other senior industry and media representatives joined the judging panel. Lawrence Leung, Chairman of the HKTDC Garment Advisory Committee, was the Chief Judge, alongside fellow judges: Tasha Liu, Brand Director & co-founder of C.DONGLIANG and LABELHOOD; Michael Mok, General Merchandising Manager at Joyce Boutique (Hong Kong) Ltd; Marcella Wong, Chief Editor of Marie Claire; Deborah Cheng, Chief Commercial Officer at I.T Apparels Ltd; Brian Tam, Project Manager at The Woolmark Company; and Virginia Chan, Head of Footwear at I.T Apparels Ltd, who served as judge for the Best Footwear & Accessories Design Award. The judges selected the best works based on creativity and originality, market potential, workmanship, use of fabrics and overall visual appeal.