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Project Runway winner goes from rags to riches

Update: July, 08/2014 - 09:25
Trend setter: Winner of Project Runway Vietnam 2014 Ly Giam Tien walks with model Quynh Chau while presenting his collection to the judge and audience on Sunday night. — VNS Photo Van Dat

HCM CITY  (VNS) — Eighteen-year-old Ly Giam Tien won over two formidable opponents to win the top prize on the TV reality show Project Runway Vietnam aired on Viet Nam Television on Sunday night.

In its second season, the former mason, who was the youngest of 12 finalists, offered a mature and creative collection inspired by his trip to Paris with two other contestants, Ha Hong Lam and Phan Nguyen Minh Quan.

"Becoming winner of Project Runway is really a dream for me. I still don't believe it's true," he told Viet Nam News.

The Long An native's collection of 12 pieces for men and women were influenced by French architecture, culture and fashion of the 17th century.

Vietnamese judges and Dominique Chardon Savard, principal at the Atelier Chardon Savard in Paris, were impressed by his designs.

Truong Ngoc Anh, one of the judges, said the collection in red and white was unique and reflected the colours of Paris.

The 18-year-old professional fashion designer told the judges: "Fashion cannot be described in words. It should be seen in the clothes."

Designer Nguyen Cong Tri and journalist Tran Nguyen Thien Huong also praised Tien's collection.

"It was my first time to Paris and I was impressed by the Eiffel Tower. If I was a painter, I would feature the city's beauty through my painting. But because I am a fashion designer, I loved bringing the beauty into my collection," he said.

Ly Giam Tien, who was born into a poor family in Long An, had never attended a professional design programme before applying to take part in Project Runway.

His love for fashion began four years ago when he attached some accessories, including buttons, on clothes.

He was so excited about how the clothes were transformed by such details that he registered to attend vocational school to take design classes. He later opened his own fashion shop Ma Giam Tien.

Tien said he continued to learn about design by researching the topic on the internet.

Beside other valuable prizes, he is now preparing for his trip to the US with model Quynh Chau to showcase his collection during New York Couture Fashion Week 2014.

In a conversation with Viet Nam News a few hours after Tien's win was announced, Tran Quoc Dung, also called Cory Tran, a fashion designer in New York, said that "Tien was great".

Ha Hong Lam and Phan Nguyen Minh Quan, were the runner-up and third-place winner, respectively.

Minh Quan, who is colour blind, impressed the judges and audience with his colourful dresses. He used pink, blue and orange for his collection. — VNS

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