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Winning Ideas from the Humble Microbe

John Galliano, Issey Miyake and Alexander McQueen are her fashion idols. But it is the humble microbe which provides the lasting inspiration for Temasek Design School student, Chia Qiu Yu.

In a matter of three weeks, Qiu Yu, now in her second year in the Diploma in Apparel Design and Merchandising course, transformed the indefinite shapes and forms of micro-organisms into a lavish three-piece ensemble.

Her bold creation won her the fifth prize at the 32nd HEP Five Original Fashion Contest in Osaka, Japan, in October 2009.

Qiu Yu was undaunted by the tight deadline for submission, focused only on the prospect of showcasing her work to an international audience.

Her designs was guided by lecturer Wilson Choo and Jennifer Chan in the technical aspects of the sewing of the elaborate set comprising a pair of trousers, a bustier and a jacket, in just three weeks.

Her determination paid off. Qiu Yu was among 45 finalists shortlisted from 1,000 participants in the hotly contested fashion competition, opened to young designers from Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, Singapore and other Asian countries.

At the end of two grueling rounds of judging, Qiu Yu walked off with the fifth prize, earning a certificate, SGD1,500 and shopping vouchers.

But for her, the most rewarding experience was “the chance to see my work on the catwalk, and to see in detail, the fabulous creations of designers from across Asia.”

Apart from that, being right in the middle of Osaka’s shopping district, Umeda, was a boon for the shopaholic student, who used the experience to study the range of fashion merchandise available.

About HEP Five Original Fashion Contest

Established in 1972, the annual contest sponsored by the Hankyu Hanshin Building Management Company Ltd, aims to cultivate aspiring young fashion designers from within Japan and across Asia.

Singapore submitted 100 entries to this year’s contest. Qui Yu’s winning design was the only Singapore entry to make it to the finals.

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