I was one of the judges at The Hong Kong Design Institute’s Visual Merchandising Competition 2013 on May 7th. The students produced some incredible work, revealing how much amazing talent there is in Hong Kong’s young fashion community. Teams from the HKDI’s Fashion and Image department under the guidance of Helen Cheng and department head Liz McLafferty had been challenged to create window displays for a range of top fashion brands including Louis Vuitton and Diesel. The competition prizes were sponsored by Green Ladies, a fashion boutique run under the auspices of the St James’ Settlement. The other judges were Stephanie Lee, the Visual Display Manager at Lane Crawford, Wendy Cheung, manager at the St James’ Settlement and Vince Ching, Visual Merchandising Manager of Sidefame. The students had to do iPad presentations to the judges, which was a nerve-wracking experience for them and had Pun Yat Mun (Mosaic) shaking so much his partner Lia Ying Ho (Vivian) had to steady his hands. They needn’t have worried. Their work for the Walter Van Beirendonck brand was outstanding and fully captured the eccentric creativity of the Belgian designer. Mosaic and Vivian used pastel shades from the Walter Van Beirendonck Spring/Summer collection as inspiration for the Julian Schnabel smashed crockery ensemble they created. It was worthy of a Joyce window – which is compliment to them and Joyce’s very talented Head of Art, Bartley Ingram. If Bartley is reading this, I have the names of two exceptional interns for him. The Best Execution award went to a perfectly on-brand window for the “British design-Japanese spirit” label Superdry, designed by Kory Pang Oi Yi, Toby Yan Siu Wai and Jessie Lo Yun Tong. With a fashion icon like Ann Demeulemeester for inspiration, Tong Yin Ching, Ng Hin Lung and Luk Shiu Fung had to do something special and the window they devised, inspired by the raven feathers in the Belgian designers Fall/Winter collection from 2012 did not disappoint. It won the most creative prize, but that was an award that could have gone to all the talented students who worked on the 11 window displays, which can all be viewed at HKDI until May 12.