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SINGAPORE – The winners of Singapore-based, regional fashion design competition Audi Star Creation 2013 were announced at Tent @ Marina Promenade on Monday, May 13, 2013, after a full day of judging. Singapore’s Haziq Putra, 21, topped the winner’s list being chosen as both a general winner of Audi Star Creation and also receiving the additional prize for the Audi Young Designer Award (AYDA).

Audi Star Creation 2013 winners HAZIQ PUTRA

His menswear collection entitled “Pursuit to Freedom” (pictured above) is based on a trip he took to the Malaysian state of Kelantan where he was drawn to the simple living and spirit of determination of its people. The central premise of Haziq Putra’s concept was a design based on two Kelantan icons – the Wau Bulan, a giant kite, and the ikan pari, or stingray – this design was translated into a hand-dyed batik print that was then re-imagined into a digital print. Colour choices were based on natural environment, leaning heavily towards strong greens; additional interest came from textured used to reflect the roughness of stingray skin.

Sun Yi Jin from China used her historical culture as the basis for her collection “Return” (pictured below); taking the concept of traditional Chinese dress, particularly those that use hand-crafting techniques. Sticking to a monochrome palette to add modernity to her pieces, Sun Yi Jin also added painted images to create patterns on her hand-crafted fabric.

Audi Star Creation 2013 winners SUN YI JIN

“What impressed us most was the fact that the collection draws so strongly on history yet manages to come across as modern. That is exactly what we were looking for with this year’s InspirAsian theme – a designer who was able to dig deep into his/her own culture but emerge with something that would fit right in on the streets of New York or Tokyo,” said judge David Wang, the vice president of the Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore.

The final winner was Vu Ta Linh from Vietnam; his womenswear collection entitled “The Contour” (pictured below) was based on the shapes created in the landscape by Vietnamese cultural icon, the Ruong Bac Thang rice terraces in Sapa, Vietnam. Using techniques like quilting, wearing, embroidery and patchwork, the designer stuck to naturals tones of browns, greys and greens to add depth to his textural pieces.

Audi Star Creation 2013 winners VU TA LINH

“What stood out is that the collection came across as cool but also managed to capture the movement of nature. You look at the top layer and think it is beautiful, then discover embroidery beneath that adds another level to it,” said Ruth Marshall-Johnson, custom research director at WGSN.

The three designers receive a $10,000 prize, a one-year internship with Singapore retailer FJ Benjamin – the owner of fashion house Raoul – and the chance to launch a capsule collection during Audi Fashion Festival 2014. The winner of the AYDA receives an additional $10,000 in cash; this prize is given to the designer whose work “best embodies the Audi design spirit of innovation, technology and progression.”

“I thought the collection was very original and I like the fact that you could see his design concept of the stingray flow right through. He was creative but not too over the top with progressive design, much like Audi. At the same time, the collection is very well made and seems to be market-ready. I can even see myself in some of his pieces!” said judge, Audi Singapore’s managing director Jeff Mannering.

According to judge Douglas Benjamin, chief operating officer of F J Benjamin and co-creative director of Raoul, the over-riding theme of this year’s submissions was a “strong focus on fabrication and fabric manipulation”.

All of the judges, including Colin McDowell, creative director of the Audi Fashion Festival 2013, Odile Benjamin, co-creative director of Raoul, and Singapore fashion designer Alfie Leong, the founder of labels a.w.o.l and MU, seemed impressed with the overall quality of the 2013 finalists with Japan’s Kentaro Fujiki also receiving a lot of interest.

The winning collections will return to the runway on May 17, 2013, with the capsule collections of last year’s winners Soravit Kaewkamon, 24, from Thailand; Roderic Wong, 28, from China; and Ko Young-Ji, 32, from South Korea.

Entries for Audi Star Creation 2014 will go out in November, 2013, and the deadline for submissions is January 31, 2014.

Audi Star Creation is part of Singapore’s Asia Fashion Exchange. For more information, check out www.starcreation.sg; you can follow Audi Star Creation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StarCreationSG and on Twitter at @StarCreationSG