He first inflated more than 500 balloons using only hand pumps.
Mr Gabriel Goh, 52, a logistics assistant, then spent 18 hours painstakingly sculpting a dress using the balloons.
"I feel that hand pumps give better control and it's what I'm used to," he said.
"If I use something that I'm not used to, the probability of something getting out of control is higher and it's all about control."
His dress, From Jungle to Garden City, bagged him an award for being the Best Designer at Balloon Runway.
The event, which was on Saturday at Downtown East, saw 15 such designers and their 20 creations, including six pieces of children's wear also made from balloons.
It was held in celebration of SG50.
Mr Goh said his dress had been inspired by Singapore's multicultural community.
"All the different colours in the dress relate to a flow of harmony amongst the different races and religion," he said.
"It is very organic, fluid, evolves and changes over time while I create the dress."
A pair of designers, Mr Clement Teo, 46, an engineer, and Miss Wendy Huang, 42, who works in purchasing, won the award for the Most Original Dress. Their dress, Oriental Charm, which took the form of a dragon, took 15 hours to make using 800 balloons.
Mr Teo, who picked up balloon sculpting two years ago, said it took them a month to design.
He added: "I didn't expect to win and I was very surprised.
"It feels great, but at the end of the day, we're just here to enjoy the process of the competition."
Some of the models had worries about the balloons bursting while they were on the runway.
Miss Fang Jia Xin, 21, a student, who was clad in a white balloon dress, said it was her first time modelling.
"It was stressful because of the dress design. It restricted my movements quite a bit, but I was more worried that the balloons might burst."
Miss Izabella Bano, 29, who was modelling a red balloon dress with black flowers, described the dress as "a corset, just without the pain".
"The difficult part is putting it on because the material is not flexible and it's a bit rigid," she said.
She added: "If the dress is too long, it's hard to go up the steps, but I felt comfortable in it because it was light and soft."
At the end of the competition, everyone said they had fun.
Mr Goh said: "The win was a surprise and I'm elated. But this competition was all about enjoying myself."
This article was first published on Jan 20, 2015.
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