An award-winning lingerie designer from Ho Chi Minh City is definitely going places
Huynh Thi Ngoc Uyen says the medieval specter that inspired the Roll Royce Phantom helped her win the Vietnam leg of the Triumph Inspiration Award 2009 for lingerie design.
The ambitious student of Ho Chi Minh Citys Architecture University picked up VND25 million (US$1,407) for her victory and will represent Vietnam in the international final during the Milan fashion week in September.
Unsurprisingly, she sees her achievement as a great opportunity to perfect her design skills and move up in the world of fashion.
Uyen has a busy three months ahead of her preparing for the competition in northern Italy, where she will be facing a hard-nosed jury of famous faces in fashion and the media.
The national contest, which concluded at the end of May, drew 523 entries from hundreds of young designers who had to rely on eloquence and quick thinking to convince the jury when they presented their designs.
Uyen found the contest more difficult this year than last as it took her ages to think of an icon, which was the theme this time around.
It was only when she thought of the "luxurious, mysterious and classic Roll Royce Phantom car series" that she found what she was looking for and took a ride to victory.
"I'm interested in the Phantom as it was inspired by ghosts that frighten but also fascinate humans," Uyen said adding that the car is a work of art with a mysterious soul.
"The soul I want to create is flooded with darkness (Black tones), with a flickering light (white tones) as people search throughout their lives. That is the most wonderful soul and it is the underwear I want the most."
The runner-ups behind Uyen were Hoang Thi Thuy Hong with her "Black Catwoman" collection and Huynh Thi Minh Ngoc with "Van Gogh's Sunflowers."
One of Huynh Thi Ngoc Uyen's winning designs for this year's Triumph Inspiration Award for lingerie design. Uyen will represent Vietnam at the grand final in Milan in September.
More icons came from the eight consolation prize winners with collections titled "Romeo and Juliet," "The Sydney Opera House," "Frog Prince," "Lotus," "The Man," "Phoenix," "Birthday Cake" and "Pumpkin Lantern."
In last year's inaugural contest, Uyen managed to finish in the top eleven with her "Cleopatra" collection. The winner and Vietnam's representative in the Beijing final was Hoang Minh Ha with Buom dem (Night butterfly).
Victory in Milan will come with a cash prize of 15,000 euros ($21,332) and the chance to join the Triumph design team to develop the winning entry into a commercial line of underwear for release in a limited edition next year.
The first and second runners-up will pick up 10,000 euros ($14,221) and 5,000 euros ($7,111).
Members of the public can do their bit to determine the final outcome by voting for their favorite designs among the entries at www.triumph-inspiration-award.com from August 31 to September 13.
The designer receiving the most votes online will enter the final with one set vote in the jury. Furthermore, the online voters can choose one of their own to be a member of the distinguished judging panel.
The Triumph International Award gives talented young designers a leg up in establishing themselves professionally.
Last year's inaugural winner was Midori Matsuo of Japan with the "Under Skin" collection, a commercial version of which will be available at some Triumph stores at the beginning of August.
"Dealing with trends from art, culture, fashion and lifestyle that we depict anew in every collection is part of our daily work," said Jan Rosenberg, global head of sales and marketing for Triumph International.
"After the impressive results in 2008, we are especially pleased to be able to share our enthusiasm for the lingerie sector with talented young designers this year as well, and invite them to discover the exciting world of lingerie for themselves."
Speaking earlier, the head of the advertising and promotions department of Triumph International (Vietnam) Ltd., Vinh Nguyen, said the contest challenged the creativity of design students.
"Their new fangled ideas and novelty, their feeling for charm and the feminine could cause a few surprises. Then there are the commercial possibilities to consider as well," Nguyen said.
In his view, the designers from Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, China and elsewhere in Asia are promising a show of impressively oriental creations in Milan.