updated 12 Sep 2011, 14:35
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Tue, Jul 12, 2011
The New Paper
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Flash parade
by Yeoh Wee Teck

SINGAPORE didn't triumph in Berlin but Asia came close. Not only was our representative absent because she couldn't get a visa, we were left out of contention.

Singapore was one of 37 countries taking part in the 4th annual Triumph Inspiration Award held in Berlin on Wednesday, as part of Berlin Fashion Week.

This year's theme was 125 years of celebrating women, in conjunction with the lingerie brand's 125th anniversary.

Singapore's contender, Winnie Setio, an Indonesian student at Raffles Design Institute, could not get her visa on time to be part of the contest.

Her lecturers stepped in to represent her instead.

Still, the design did not find favour with the all-women panel of judges, made up of models Lily Cole and Helena Christensen, entertainer Coco Lee, star photographer Ellen von Unwerth, Berlin's Anita Tillmann and Triumph creative director Jos Berry.

At the end of the night, India and Hong Kong made it to the top 10.

But it was Hungary that won the top prize of 15,000 euros ($26,100). Turkey came in second and Romania was third.

This oversubscribed show held at E-Werk had guests spilling out of the stands and choking the passageway.

There were more guests than seats.

The show was held up for 90 minutes. The talk was because its German host Franziska Knuppe was stuck at the launch of Berlin Fashion Week.

The sudden downpour didn't help either. Guests were trapped indoors and no one could escape for fresh air.

But fashion triumphed, and when the first girl walked down the runway, applause rang out throughout the hall.

Hong Kong designer Liu Pak Yiu told The New Paper on Sunday she was happy just to be in Berlin.

She said: "I'm really happy to be in top 10, even though I didn't win."

Hong Kong won the worldwide Internet vote, which formed part of the overall scores.

But India's contestant was more vocal about her loss. Ms Tannishtha Saha admitted:"I thought I stood a chance because my design was different."

Ms Berry, whose vote is perhaps most significant, said: "I've seen some wonderful Asian creations this year that did not make it to the Top 10, like Japan's entry.

"But for Asians to make an impact, the designers should get their inspiration worldwide and observe how women around the world live."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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