While the delay before Samsung Innovation – Young Designer Style Awards 2013 at the 23rd Anniversary of MODA made attendees restless, there was a definite buzz in the air from students of the local fashion schools represented at the competition. Ten young designers from institutions such as Lim Kok Wing University of Creative Technology, Raffles College of Higher Education and the Malaysian Institute of Art were to battle it out for a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.

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Collection by Rebecca Cheong from Malaysian Institute of Art

The shortlisted designers were tasked to create three individual looks, plus an accompanying phone case. Assisting the hopefuls to realise their vision were seasoned styling pros, and each designer got to team up with one hair and one make-up expert each.

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Collection by Farzaneh Abdollahi of Lim Kok Wing University

There were plenty of over-the-top, outlandish ideas that made the jump from concept to creation, but among the ones that stood out most were the team of textured, sculpted, glossy alien forms by Lim Kok Wing University student Farzaneh Abdollahi, accented by silver snap clips covering models’ entire scalps, save for exagerrated samurai ponytails for swishing as they walked, and one giant pom pom.

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Collection by Rino Tan of SML Fashion Academy

Also exciting were Rino Chan of SML Fashion Academy’s Samsung cybernetic warrior suits – accented in blue with vents all over. But the one collection that won me over proper were the final trio of looks by Veronica Jemkur. The student of Bandar Universiti Teknologi Lagenda presented three whimsically patterned dresses built on wood and croc textures, weaving and pleating. The woodland creature styling was the prettiest of the lot, and felt unexpectedly dark and feminine.

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Collection by Veronica Jemkur of Bandar Universiti Teknologi Lagenda

The judges included Malaysian fashion industry veterans Bill Keith and Melinda Looi, and in the end, they chose Farzaneh’s spectacular shiny black armour and overall look, earning her and her hair and make-up experts brand new Samsung Galaxy S4’s. Three RM1,000 prizes were also given out to the designers with the best smartphone case designs.