A patchwork quilt not only conjures up images of familial comfort — it’s also a source of fashion inspiration for Singapore graphic designer Phee Ng Swee Yee.

As a child, Phee helped her mother to cut and re-use old fabrics for the family’s homemade blankets. Her mother was a former seamstress, who continued to sew as a housewife. “She inspired me to learn more about fashion design and to use the simplest of materials to conjure up practical fashion,” says Phee.

Much in tune with such a “waste not, want not” attitude, Phee has designed a fashion capsule collection made entirely out of upcycled garments and fabrics for the EcoChic Design Award.

Phee will unveil her competing collection soon at the EcoChic Design Award finals, to be held at the Hong Kong Fashion Week in January 2014.

Singapore designer shortlisted for EcoChic Design Award
Phee Ng’s contest entry for EcoChic Design Award 2013

The designer is one of eight finalists, as well as the sole Singapore representative selected for the EcoChic Design Award, a sustainable fashion design competition.

“I want to show that everyone can transform their old, unwanted clothing into something wearable again with some creativity and effort,” shares Phee.

It’s this sense of “the old and the new” that Phee embraces, be it in terms of the patchwork technique she uses or her choice of upcycling old denim and other garments.

Singapore designer shortlisted for EcoChic Design Award

Phee artfully reconstructs old fabrics as panels of a fresh new dress — on one design, the segments on her mandarin collar dress bring to mind the brilliant veined wings of a butterfly.

The designer attributes the patchwork technique of her mother’s homemade quilts as one of her key sources of inspiration, along with the geometric lines of the Esplanade building and old shophouses in Singapore.

Singapore designer shortlisted for EcoChic Design Award

We can’t wait to see Phee’s completed collection; stay tuned to see more from this young Singapore designer soon.

The EcoChic Design Award finals will be held in Hong Kong in January 2014. Go to www.ecochicdesignaward.com for more information on the sustainable fashion design competition.

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