SINGAPORE - For most of the attendees, it would have been a rare chance to see german-American supermodel Heidi Klum, 40, in person.
The former Victoria's Secret Angel and Emmy-winning reality TV host was in town for the filming of the first runway challenge of the ninth season of reality TV modelling series Germany's Next Top Model, an invite-only event held at the National Design Centre last Sunday.
Klum hosts, judges, and executive produces this season.
After anxiously waiting for the doors past the cocktail area to open, the 100-strong crowd rushed to grab their seats in anticipation of the fashion show.
Appearing first was German fashion designer Thomas Hayo, a judge on Germany's Next Top Model, who went on to address the audience: "Unfortunately, I have to be the bearer of bad news. Heidi Klum will not be here today as she is currently unwell and hospitalised because she has a high fever."
Klum, a single mother of four, first hinted at her visit here when she tweeted a picture last Friday of an Asian dish that was accompanied by the caption: "Where am I? Can you guess???"
The Germany's Next Top Model team reportedly left Singapore two days ago.
Even though the most anticipated VIP was missing, the show had to go on.
The 23 contestants strutted the runway, dressed in more than 40 avantgarde outfits designed by graduates of Lasalle College of the Arts.
French fashion designer Lionel Roudaut, 41, programme leader of the Fashion Design & Textiles Degree at Lasalle, said: "(The Germany's Next Top Model team) had already planned to come to Singapore and they needed clothes to dress the models for the challenge.
"They looked for local designers, but they didn't quite like the designs so they looked for schools instead and that's how they found me."
She gave green light
Said Mr Roudaut of Hayo's unexpected announcement: "Everybody was hoping to see her (Klum), so we were all, of course, disappointed. Even I was sad that I didn't get to meet her.
"It's unfortunate that she didn't get to see the designs physically, but from what I heard, she was the one who approved the designs that I sent to the production team and gave the green light to work with Lasalle."
Ms Jacqueline Koh, a Lasalle alumnus and freelance fashion designer for home-grown fashion brand Raoul, said: "(Heidi's) an inspiration to many of us.
It's a shame."
Klum apparently didn't disappear quietly. According to Mr Roudaut, she sent an apology video from hospital.
Also, the overall success of the show more than made up for her absence.
Ms Koh, 25, said: "The anticipation leading up to the show was probably the most pressure I felt that day but I was happy with it."
Mr Roudaut said: "It was really emotional and exciting to see the designs (of my former students) altogether for the first time (on one runway)."
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