With ten competitors ranging from six countries vying for the same podium, actually, eleven competitors counting the fellow countryfolk, it’s no stretch to say that Ling Siu Gin (Gynn) and Vincent Wong are in the battle royal of upcoming designers in Asia. The scene is Singapore and the modern-day Coliseum is the Audi Star Creation 2012. 21 year old Ling and 22 year old Wong, both students from Raffles Design Institute (Kuala Lumpur), have been hard at work perfecting their collections that, as this article goes live, would have already gone through the pre-judging session.

In a matter of hours, they will find out how Ling’s fantasy-themed womenswear collection, ‘Manimal’, based on six animals, and Wong’s white-hued ‘Confession of Sins’ collection fare against the rest of the playing field. Tongue in Chic had a quick chat with the young designers before the curtain rises for the big show.

Ling Siu Gin (Gynn) and Vincent Wong

Hello! How has your day been in the lead up to the big day?

Ling Siu Gin (Gynn): Goodness, I’m in a bit of a fluster. There is still so much to be done. I have touch-ups to do on the garments and detailing to be completed. I’m in a mad rush to finish the collection.

Vincent Wong Chen Wei: I’m quite stressed out and have not been able to sleep well for the last two weeks! I’ve been so busy trying to finish my garments that I’ve had little time to do anything else.

What was your first reaction upon learning that you were a Audi Star Creation 2012 finalist?

Gynn: I was really hoping to get in so I was very happy to find out that I made it into the top 12 (though I was also in disbelief). Audi Star Creation will be my chance to really express what I think and how I feel about fashion.

Vincent: While I was hopeful, making it to the top 12 still came as an unexpected – though pleasant – surprise. I really hope that I do not get overly nervous or stage fright at the finals.

The Owl – a piece from Ling’s ‘Manimal’ collection. The basis for this animal-themed collection stems from two music videos – ‘Paradise’ by Coldplay and ‘Lions in Cages’ by Wolf Gang that features people in animal costumes.

Sum up your collection in three words.

Gynn: Fantasy. Free. Liberated.

Vincent: Polished. Elegant. Pure.

Wong’s two-piece creation from his ‘Confession of Sins’ collection. The intricate patterned lace and feathers was inspired by peacocks.

Which style icon (international or local) would you pick to be the face of your collection and why?

Gynn: It would have to be Rui En (瑞恩), an actress at Singapore’s Mediacorp TV Channel 8. I am a huge fan and I adore the strong personalities she portrays in her television shows. She comes across as a very focused and strong-willed woman who would wear my collection perfectly.

Vincent: I really like dark-skinned models like Iman, Ajek Deng, Chanel Iman and Joan Small, so I would love it if they would wear my designs. There would be a strong contrast of colours between the garments and their beautiful skin tone and striking facial features. Another person I would love as the face of my collection would be Kate Moss – she has unique facial features and would carry off my clothes well.

Do you feel any pressure in winning the competition in light of the past two Audi Star Creation winners hailing from Malaysia?

Gynn: Yes of course, but I am trying hard not to dwell on that. I am going to do my best and not think about winning. As it is, I’m very happy to be among the 12 finalists and am determined to enjoy the experience, meet the other finalists and savour the entire Audi Star Creation experience.

Vincent: Yes. I feel quite a bit of pressure because it feels like there are standards I have to live up to. Still, I have just told myself that I will try my best and I hope to win.

Given that one of the competitors is not only a fellow Raffles student but your personal friend too, has there been a sense of rivalry between you two?

Gynn: Vincent is really nice and he’s great to have as a ‘competitor’, so there is no fierce rivalry to speak of. We’re friends and will be cheering each other on.

Vincent: The competition between us is healthy I think, and there is certainly no ‘sense of rivalry’. We’re a peace-loving bunch and are also classmates, so we’re friendly and do keep each other posted on our progress in finishing our collections for the Audi Star Creation 2012 finals in Singapore on May 14.

The Rabbit – a three-piece from Ling’s ‘Manimal’ collection. Chiffon, organza and wool are some of the fabrics combined to create a beautiful texture.

What is your greatest fear with regard to the public’s perception of your collection?

Gynn: While I worry that people will think the collection is too over-the-top, I did want my collection to be avant garde – though not to the point that it is too exclusive. I do want everyone to be able to wear my creations. That said, everything in the collection can be worn as separates (tops and bottoms), so when paired with other items of clothing, they do not seem too over-the-top.

Vincent: I am not entirely sure that my designs are “ready-to-wear” or are fit for mass consumption yet. They are quite revealing so not everyone will take to them well.

A piece from Wong’s ‘Confession of Sins’ collection. The colour white symbolises the cleanliness and purity that are innate to humans.

With less than a week to show day, what are your stress-busting techniques?

Gynn: While I’m in a huge rush to complete the collection, I am not really that stressed out. I make time to hang out with friends and go out for meals (I love to eat). The one thing I haven’t done, though, is allow myself the luxury of watching a movie. That would take too many hours and I would definitely feel guilty about it.

Vincent: I like to sit in silence and solitude. At home, I also load up on coffee (to keep me awake while I work) and junk food, like chips. I find that comforting.

What’s playing on your iPod now as you put the finishing touches to your collection?

Gynn: I like loud music, and energetic songs keep me going while I work on my collection. Right now, I’m listening to a K-Pop band called BIGBANG, which does a lot of dance music.

Vincent: Songs by Michael Bublé and and Taiwanese singer Joanna Wang (王若琳). I also really enjoy listening to jazz. It’s soothing.

What lies ahead for you after Audi Star Creation 2012?

Gynn: If I do win, I will go on to do my one-year internship with FJ Benjamin. But if I don’t win, I am going to press on with my fashion design dream, and am very likely to keep on putting in submissions for fashion design competitions both in Malaysia and around the region.

Vincent: Of course, I hope that I win and get the chance to further develop on my collection and be inspired by new things during the one-year internship with FJ Benjamin in Singapore. If I don’t win, I am likely to continue my studies in fashion design, possibly at an overseas college.

The winner for Audi Star Creation 2012 will be announced later today. For all the latest updates and results of the Audi Star Creation 2012, follow them on Twitter at @StarCreationSG.