Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper
April 19, 2016
When it came to Felicia Chin's risque red carpet outfit at Star Awards 2016 Show 1 on Sunday, nobody quite knew where to look.
As the slender Channel 8 actress paraded in her bold see-through nude dress by Adelaide-based designer Paolo Sebastian, TV viewers were probably grateful for the strategically-placed bird motifs and floral embroidery that covered her lady bits.
Netizens were quick to take to Twitter to express their disdain, calling her choice "ugly" and "horrendous".
Others, however, couldn't help but scrutinise the illusion of nudity.
Was she wearing nipple pasties? A flesh-coloured thong? Or did she - gasp - go commando?
It was probably one of the most provocative and talked-about looks ever seen at the annual local TV awards ceremony to date.
And while chances of an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction seemed scarily high for Chin, the 31-year-old - who was one of this year's Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes - managed to escape unscathed.
Her long-time stylist Martin Wong told The New Paper yesterday: "There was no Hollywood tape involved. No alteration was needed too. The key to an outfit like this was getting the right undergarment, so we flew in a corset bodysuit from Italy which cost $900. We had to make sure that it suited the cut of the dress and her skin colour."
Mr Wong, 32, picked the daring gown for Chin because he wanted one that gave off a "fun, young and elegant" vibe.
It was always their first choice, too.
A gold gown which ended up not fitting Chin, as she had lost weight filming in Malaysia, was the back-up.
Mr Wong said: "She has tried everything (for other award ceremonies) prior to this - other unconventional choices included a bra top and a graffiti skirt, as well as a short gown - so I wanted something different. This made her stand out, plus it suits her fun and bubbly personality."
Chin herself had reservations when she first saw the eye-popping $11,000 dress during the fitting two weeks ago.
"When she tried it, she went, 'Oh my God, I look naked. I don't dare to wear this'," Mr Wong recalled.
"But I encouraged her to try it anyway. Besides, she received plenty of compliments for it (during the fitting). That was when she decided to give it a go," he added.
In a Shin Min Daily News report yesterday, Chin said: "I really like the outfit but when the spotlight shone on me, I got a shock and didn't know how my mum would react.
"I think your outfit displays your attitude. Maybe I won't wear something similar next year."
We were unable to reach Chin for a comment as she is filming upcoming Channel 8 drama Legal Eagles in Kuala Lumpur.
After the red carpet, Chin changed into a less revealing and more conventional strapless black bustier gown so that she was "comfortable" and "did not have to worry about how she would sit", according to Mr Wong.
Asked if viewers should be mentally prepared for another shocker this Sunday at Show 2, he said with a laugh: "I'm not sure if I can outdo myself!
"It will be something comfortable... something sexy, feminine and still elegant," he said.
Naysayers might have plenty to say about his Show 1 pick for Chin, but Mr Wong remains unfazed.
"I think it boils down to personal taste so to each his own. I think she looked like a million dollars," he said.
This article was first published on April 19, 2016.
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