THEi fashion design young talents spin a colourful world from green wool and shine in international design competition
Whether an outfit looks stylish and trendy depends not only on its tailoring, but also its colouring. Wisely chosen outfits with matching colours can look stunning. In the SDC International Design Competition (Hong Kong Region) 2019 organised by the Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC), a fresh graduate and a student pursuing the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Fashion Design programme at the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) were named champion and first runner-up respectively, demonstrating their strong sense of colour and distinctive design style.
Taking “Colour and Nature” as the theme for this year, the SDC competition encouraged contestants to use colours and natural materials in their designs. The competition attracted fashion and textile design undergraduates from around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Singapore. Freya LAM Fat-yung, a fresh graduate of the THEi programme, won the regional champion in the Hong Kong competition with her free and vibrant womenswear design titled “Lost Horizon”.
Freya has always been good at using colours. Her winning outfits are particularly colourful, perfectly showcasing her design talent. “I love fashion designs that are fanciful and made of natural materials,” she said. “I deliberately used a highly vibrant palette of colours like red, yellow and orange for the design in the hope of creating a cheerful, carefree and passionate vibe and allowing people to rediscover natural beauty and happiness.”
Gaining Inspirations from Tibetan Style
Freya said her design inspirations came from Tibet. “Tibet is blessed with a magnificent landscape and a rustic and rich culture, which is the best reflection of natural beauty and happiness. To mirror all these, I chose vividly-coloured blocks and colourful blooms as the primary tone of my design so as to allow the audience to experience a visual journey of scenic Tibet while appreciating my design,” she explained.
Traditional dyeing processes generate wastes and are not environmentally-friendly. In this regard, to echo the theme of “Colour and Nature”, Freya put much effort into selecting materials. “The series used natural and degradable materials such as wool and silk as the major components. For the use of colours, food ingredients and vinegar were chosen to ensure that the whole series of design, from concept to materials, was in line with the theme,” she said.
As the regional champion of the Hong Kong competition, Freya attended the grand final held in Xiamen recently to compete with other winners from around the world, and was able to have an in-depth exchange with representatives from different regions on colour selection and fashion design.
Before entering THEi, Freya had already started her fashion design career. Realising the value of continuing studies and to get new design inspirations, she returned to school. Freya said THEi provided her with ample opportunities to showcase her design talent and energised her with renewed motivation. “THEi highly encourages students to use different materials for fashion design and proactively arranges for students to participate in competitions to gain experience, as well as opportunities to reach out to industry practitioners and understand the latest developments,” she notes.
Apart from a keen interest in fashion design, Freya possesses strong personal insight on mix and match. As Hong Kong has entered the winter season, she offered some tips on styling. “In autumn and winter, people are drawn to wearing dark colours. To add a cheerful vibe to autumn and winter styling, one may consider wearing the popular colours of this year such as avocado green, lavender purple and coral orange. In terms of patterns, vintage checkered patterns and loosely-cut jackets will be the hottest autumn and winter fashion trends,” Freya recommended.
Separately, Kelly CHAN Ka-lai, a third-year student of the same THEi programme, was named first runner-up in the competition, gaining inspiration from a photo of the sea to create her design entitled “Ocean”. The design concept of her winning work revolved around the issue of marine pollution, with marine refuse such as plastic bags used as raw materials. Kelly hopes to arouse public awareness on environmental protection through her design.