10/23/2012 07:48 EDT | Updated 12/23/2012 05:12 EST

Toronto Fashion Week 2012 Day 2: Montreal's DUY Wins Mercedes-Benz Start Up At Toronto Fashion Week

TORONTO - A richly coloured collection inspired by the 80s earned Duy Nguyen the top prize in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program for emerging Canadian designers.

The designer behind the high-end, ready-to-wear label DUY based in Montreal was among eight finalists from across Canada competing in this year's contest, showcasing spring 2013 capsule lines on the runway for a judging panel of industry insiders at Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week on Tuesday.

Chiffon, crepe, cotton and lace were featured in Nguyen's line with a palette he described as one developed with tones of turquoise, light green and sea foam.

Bold infusions of red including a fluid dress with cutout sleeves and a striking monochromatic ensemble featuring a blazer and barely-there mini were teamed with a loose-gauge knit. Pale peplum tops, faded denim, fitted jackets and flowing skirts were also featured in the winning line.

See more Toronto Fashion Week highlights:

Toronto Fashion Week Spring 2013 Highlights

P.E.I. sibling design duo Hilary and Louanna Murphy from Dreamboat Lucy, Edmonton's Malorie Urbanovitch and Nicole Campre, Vancouver-born, Toronto-based menswear designer Christopher Bates, Calgary-born, Toronto-based designer Caitlin Power, Calgary's Lauren Bagliore and Vancouver's Patty Nayel of Pure Magnolia were also in the running.

Designers from across Canada applied to take part in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up. The initiative was launched last year in an effort to offer a nationwide platform to discover and support emerging designers who have been in business less than five years.

Searches for leading emerging designers were staged over the course of five months in Edmonton, Halifax, Quebec City and Ottawa. In each city, homegrown talents presented business plans and collections to a panel of industry experts tasked with whittling down the pool of applicants.

Prior to the revelation of Nguyen as the winner, JoAnne Caza of Mercedes-Benz Canada announced that the semifinal locations for next year's Start Up contest will include Calgary, Winnipeg, Kitchener, Ont. and Laval, Que.,

Nguyen will make a return to the Fashion Week stage next year. As winner of the contest, he'll receive a fully produced solo runway show for fall 2013 collections next March in addition to editorial coverage in Fashion Magazine and mentorship support from fashion industry experts and insiders.

Check out some of the designs from the eight semi-finalists who were featured in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up competition.

Toronto Fashion Week 2012 Day 2: Montreal's DUY Wins Mercedes-Benz Start Up At Toronto Fashion Week-from-mt-246185